JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas --
Last month, the Air Force Wounded Warrior (AFW2) Program went back home to Nellis Air Force Base to host the 2023 Air Force Trials, after being away for 3 years. More than 90 warrior athletes competed for a spot to represent Team Air Force during the Warrior Games Challenge, happening June 1-15, 2023, at Naval Air Station North Island in San Diego, California.
The athletes competed in track, field, wheelchair rugby, wheelchair basketball, sitting volleyball, rowing, powerlifting, swimming, archery and shooting. Some of them competing in multiple sports a day. There were cuts, bruises, sweat and tears, but more importantly there were new personal records, laughs, all around support, and a lot of hugs.
“For two long weeks, I practiced and competed every day in multiple events. As I competed in rowing, tears rolled down my face from pain,” said Staff Sgt. Carly James, AFW2 athlete. “I finally realized I’m much more capable than my mind allows me to be, even when I feel broken. For the first time, in a very long time, I am so proud of myself.”
Competing at the Warrior Games Challenge can be stressful, mentally and physically. For that reason, AFW2 is bringing along three mentors this year that will provide Team Air Force with support and guidance, help keep the spirit alive and just be there as a listening ear, provide hugs and be the best Wingman they can. The mentors are MSgt. Lyndie Stark, MSgt. (ret) Tim Williams and TSgt. (ret) Nicole Allbritton.
Warrior athletes train all year, working out on their own and attending virtual classes with AFW2 coaches, in preparation for Air Force Trials with an ultimate goal of making the Warrior Games team. A huge thank you to the AFW2 staff, coaches, medical team, volunteers and Nellis Air Force Base for making this event possible for the warrior athletes. Below are the athletes who will be representing Team Air Force at the 2023 Warrior Games Challenge. Congratulations!
SrA Jocelyn Arevalo SSgt. Vincent Cavazos
SSgt. Teri Charles SSgt. Garret Corbett
TSgt. Jessica Derhammer TSgt. Jessica Garcia
MSgt. Phillip Giovanniello SSgt. Colten Grimm
SrA Darryl Holley SSgt. Carly James
MSgt. Justin James SrA Josiah Powell
Maj. Heather Sealover Col. Brett Seiling
SSgt. Adrian Spaulding TSgt. Paul Vermaire
SSgt. Ji-Mi Wakaria MSgt. Scott Caroon
SSgt. DeMarcus Garrett MSgt. (ret) Rhoda Bargas
SSgt. (ret) Matt Cable SSgt. (ret) Nairi Cornejo
TSgt. (ret) James Phelps MSgt. (ret) Nalani Quintello
TSgt. (ret) Jerod Schley SSgt. (ret) Olajide Shasanya
SrA (ret) Joanna Antoniuk TSgt. (ret) Jett Blackwell
TSgt. (ret) Jason Brown SrA (ret) Sharliett Cardenas
SrA (ret) Moses DeBraska TSgt. (ret) Rudy Estrada
TSgt. (ret) Christopher Ferrell A1C (ret) Shane Hinshaw
SMSgt. (ret) Gary Keller SSgt. (ret) Janelle Lykons
Col. (ret) Jacquelyn Marty SrA (ret) Brandon Sullivan
SSgt. (ret) Gregory Walker TSgt. (ret) Justin Wolfe
SrA Ebony Billups SSgt. Roschell Brown
SrA Wyatt Leik TSgt. Lauren Naranjo
SrA Jordan Waid SSgt. (ret) Brittany Clark
Maj. (ret) Daniel Corindia SMSgt. (ret) Gary Eyster