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    Sailor overcomes injuries to compete in 2016 DOD Warrior Games



    Story by Spc. Lalita Hazelett 

    210th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

    WEST POINT, NEW YORK -- Navy Veteran Petty Officer 2nd Class Stephan L. Miller, from Lakewood, Ohio, unknowingly began his journey with the DOD Warrior Games in 2002 with his initial enlistment in the U.S. Navy as an aviation boatswain's mate (aircraft handler).

    Miller was always motivated to workout, strive for the best, and push himself beyond his capabilities.

    "I have always been a PT (physical training) fanatic," said Miller. "because athletics is just something I do."

    Not knowing he would ever be competing in the DOD Warrior Games, Miller trained hard his entire career. When he became injured in 2010, he was introduced to the Navy's Wounded Warrior Safe Harbor Program - a program created to help enable Sailors transitioning from injuries - which ultimately helped him establish who he is today, alongside his family and his faith in God.

    "I'm mostly by myself at home," said Miller. "But a lot of my support is my faith in God. He has gotten me through all of it in a psychological sense.

    "I knew nothing about any of this until I got hurt," Miller said. "I was introduced to Safe Harbor in 2010 - 2012. When I was introduced to the Warrior Games, I thought 'Wow, I'm really rebuilding myself, here.'"

    Safe Harbor helps in a multitude of ways with rehabilitation of Sailors. For Miller, it was a psychological battle of finding himself again.

    "Safe Harbor helped me remember the person inside of me," Miller commented. "I try to train like a super athlete for this. I do everything I can to amke myself better."

    Learning there are positives and negatives with any situation has been a staple of Miller's recovery. Getting intensely focused on training led him to perfectionism - a struggle his mother, Safe Harbor, and his faith in God have gotten him through.

    "I have to learn to accept the bad days with the good days," added Miller. "It goes as far as seasons, too. I have my good years and my bad years. My biggest problem right now is taking the persona of 'the Navy's tough guy' for this stuff and having that mentality that I HAVE to win.

    "I keep forgetting that there is a human being and soul in here," said Miller, passionately gesturing to his chest. "And underneath that is an athlete. I'm so focused on performing in the games, it's easy to forget that I'm a person if I'm not winning a medal."



    Date Taken: 06.21.2016
    Date Posted: 06.21.2016 11:10
    Story ID: 201910
    Location: WEST POINT, NY, US 
    Hometown: LAKEWOOD, OH, US

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    Sailor overcomes injuries to compete in 2016 DOD Warrior Games