WEST POINT, NY, UNITED STATES
A Special Forces officer is a leader, organizer of missions and a physically and mentally fit Solider who has the ability to perform under any amount of pressure, said U.S Army Lt. Col. David O’Hearn.
Merriam-Webster defines a warrior as a person who fights and is known for having courage and skill.
In 2007, while deployed to Afghanistan, O’Hearn, an active duty Special Forces officer, received a traumatic brain injury when his unit was hit by an improvised explosive device but that didn’t stop him. Although designed to cause death, the IED only injured the warrior. Because of his courage and skill, 11 years later he’s still an active duty Soldier in the Army and competing with U.S. Special Operations Command at the 2016 DOD Warrior Games.
“I have been apart of Care Coalition since I was injured,” said O’Hearn.
No stranger to leading, O’Hearn’s primary role as a Special Forces officer is to provide guidance to his Soldiers and he's taken on that role as the 2016 team captain for U.S. Special Operations Command.
“I was nominated by the staff to represent the team as team captain,” he said. “It's really humbling.”
Athletes who demonstrate a team mentality and exceptional talent are invited yearly to compete in the Warrior Games, as representatives of Team SOCOM.
During the Warrior Games O’Hearn will be competing in the track, cycling and swimming events.
“I began training for the game's six months ago,” said O’Hearn.
As an athlete and team leader, O’Hearn not only provides the motivation to his team members he is also motivated by them as well.
“I am grateful to be a part of this team,” he said. “This is an amazing group of guys.”
“Their resiliency is unparalleled, they’re all very humble people, and to see how they’ve overcome so much adversity inspires me,” said O’Hearn. “They’ve provided me with the motivation to continue on the path to face my own adversities,” he continued.
O’Hearn’s athletic capabilities exceed those of the average athlete. His favorite sport is cycling and he cycles about 150 miles a week.
“Overall this has been a really wonderful experience, the games really help to heal the invisible wounds that people don’t see. The camaraderie of it all, brings such positivity,” explained O’Hearn.
“I’m glad I am able to attend the games this year and I hope to do it again next year,” he said.
To learn more about USSOCOM’s Care Coalition transition programs, visit http://www.socom.mil/Care%20Coalition/Transition.aspx.
||WEST POINT, NY, US
This work, 2016 DOD Warrior Games: Warrior, Leader, and Athlete, by SPC Tynisha Daniel, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.