Next Up, Warrior Games Challenge!

  • Published
  • By Shannon Hall
  • Air Force Wounded Warrior Program

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