COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (NNS) — Navy physicians and corpsmen have assembled in Colorado Springs, Colo. to support Team Navy’s wounded warrior athletes in the 2013 Warrior Games May 11 – 16.
“The medical staff makes competing each day a little easier,” said retired Navy Culinary Specialist Seaman Judi Boyce. “Without them, Team Navy would be struggling with sore muscles and injuries. They make each day better.”
Boyce received an acupuncture treatment and sports massages throughout Team Navy’s training week prior to the Warrior Games. During the event, she will compete in archery and track and field.
The Warrior Games, hosted by the U.S. Olympic Committee and presented by Deloitte, provides an opportunity for wounded, ill and injured Sailors and Coast Guardsmen to participate in competitive sports with service members from other military branches and the U.K. armed forces. Team Navy is sponsored by Navy Wounded Warrior (NWW) – Safe Harbor, the Navy’s wounded warrior support program.
The medical team assembled this year possesses a unique combination of skills and expertise. NWW Senior Medical Officer Cmdr. David Shapiro is coordinating the team, which includes an internal physician who specializes in wounded warrior care, a sport-medicine fellow-in-training and a physical therapist.
Cmdr. Doug Hawk is the senior physician at the Warrior Clinic at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., providing medical support to wounded warriors from all military branches.
“Cmdr. Hawk has extensive experience; however, he only gets to see wounded warriors at their worst, when they are struggling. This event gives him the opportunity to care for them when they are at their best and to see the results of his efforts,” said Shapiro. “It also gives the sports-medicine fellow and the physical therapist the opportunity to train athletes that they don’t normally get to see.”
“The medical team’s ability to provide high caliber athletic training and Cmdr. Hawk’s knowledge of the unique challenges inherent in caring for veterans ensure that we are providing the best care and training possible for our athletes,” he added.
The athletes of the Warrior Games are also supported by three Navy Hospital Corpsmen, all of whom have attended previous Warrior Games. For Navy Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Bryant Hare – who is stationed at the physical therapy department at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth – this year marks his third visit to the Warrior Games.
“It’s the camaraderie and the motivation in them that brings out the best in me,” said Hare.
“It’s amazing to see how far the wounded warriors have come in the past year, and how well they are playing,” said Navy Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Baodi Ngo, who is stationed at Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek, Va. “It’s an honor to be here with them.”
NWW coordinates the non-medical care of more than 1,000 seriously wounded, ill and injured Sailors and Coast Guardsmen and provides resources and support for their families. The program is a department of Fleet and Family Support within Commander, Navy Installations Command.
For more news from Commander, Navy Installations Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/cni/.