Wounded Airmen: Journey to Recovery
The 2016 Air Force Trials, an adaptive sports event carried out by the Air Force Wounded Warrior office, took place in February at Nellis AFB, Nev., better known as the “Home of the Fighter Pilot.” Thus the sound of roaring fighter jets, along with loud chants and clapping, dominated the atmosphere.
More than 100 wounded Airmen—seriously wounded, ill, and injured military members and veterans—competed in the Air Force Trials, testing their skills in archery, basketball, cycling, track and field, swimming, shooting, and volleyball.
Each day seemed more intense, with tension building among the athletes. A lot rode on the outcome of these Air Force Trials: a slot to participate in the 2016 Department of Defense Wounded Warrior Games, to be held in June at the US Military Academy at West Point.
Approximately thirty-five wounded Airmen earned a spot on Team Air Force as primary athletes and alternatives. At the DOD games next month, these Airmen will go up against roughly 200 athletes representing teams from the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, and US Special Operations Command.
Events like the trials and other adaptive sports events promote the mental and physical well-being of seriously wounded, ill, and injured military members and veterans. This journey represents more than just their participation in the Warrior Games. This is their journey to recovery.
AFA’s Wounded Airman Program and Deloitte joined together to support the two-week event by assisting with the cost of the closing ceremony on March 3 and other supporting events, AFA’s Wounded Airman Program (WAP), in partnership with the Air Force Wounded Warrior (AFW2) program, provides support through financial aid, caregiver support, and on-site support at adaptive sports camps and the Department of Defense Warrior Games.