29 Athletes selected for 2012 Warrior Games AF team

  • Published
  • By Eric M. Grill
  • Air Force Personnel, Services and Manpower Public Affairs
Twenty-nine Air Force athletes will compete for gold after being chosen to represent the service at the 2012 Warrior Games.

Warrior Games is an Olympic-style event open to all wounded, ill and injured military members and veterans. This year's event are scheduled to take place April 30 through May 5 in Colorado Springs, Colo.

The Air Force team will compete against teams from the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, and Coast Guard. Additionally, 20 volunteers from the United Kingdom's Armed Forces will also compete as guest athletes.

Athletes for the 2012 Air Force team are:

Maj. Scott Bullis, Peterson Air Force Base, Colo.
Maj. Gregg Rich, Robins AFB, Ga.
Retired Maj. Gwendolyn Sheppard, Brown Deer, Wis.
Capt. Anthony Simone, Chicago, Ill.
1st Lt. Ryan McGuire, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.
Retired Chief Master Sgt. Damian T. Orslene, Ocean Springs, Miss.
Senior Master Sgt. Michael Sanders, Elmendorf AFB, Alaska
Retired Senior Master Sgt. Noel Sepulveda, Severen, Md.
Retired Senior Master Sgt. George Stiltner, Wilburton, Okla.
Master Sgt. Christopher Aguilera, Nellis AFB, Nev.
Retired Master Sgt. Kimberly K. Bradshaw, Yorktown, Va.
Retired Master Sgt. Kenneth Gestring, Ocean Springs, Miss.
Master Sgt. Benjamin Horton, Peterson AFB, Colo.
Retired Tech. Sgt. Corey Carter, Columbus, Ohio
Tech. Sgt. Kevin Murphy, Grand Forks AFB, N.D.
Tech. Sgt. Kathryn Robinson, March Air Reserve Base, Calif.
Tech. Sgt. Keith Sekora, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.
Tech. Sgt. Christopher Wolff, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.
Retired Tech. Sgt. William Wymore, St. Charles, Mo.
Former Staff Sgt. Claude E. Owens, Beavercreek, Ohio
Retired Staff Sgt. Stacey L. Pearsall, Goose Creek, S.C.
Former Staff Sgt. Elmer M. Sanders, California City, Calif.
Retired Staff Sergeant Jack L. Shaw, Marine on the Croix, Minn.
Former Staff Sgt. Adam Tanverdi, Potomac Falls, Va.
Retired Staff Sgt. Kevin Taylor, Satellite Beach, Fla.
Retired Senior Airman Kendell Madden, Destin, Fla.
Former Senior Airman Jeffrey Odom, San Diego
Retired Senior Airman Jennifer M. Stone, Denver
Retired Airman 1st Class Ramina Oraha, Chicago

The Warrior Games was created in 2010 as an introduction to Paralympic sports for injured service members and veterans.

This year's team is nearly a 50/50 mix of veteran players and rookies. Their disabilities range from post-traumatic stress disorder to traumatic brain injury, quadriplegia, kidney disease and leg amputation. The team members will compete in seven sports -- wheelchair basketball, sitting volleyball, archery, swimming, track and field, shooting and cycling.

"The goal of Warrior Games and the Air Force's Adaptive Sports Program is to inspire wounded warriors to reach for and achieve a rich and productive future," said Col. Sandra Adams, the Air Force Services Agency commander. "We also show them through these types of competitions they can defeat their illness or injury and maximize their abilities to have a rich and fulfilling life beyond what has happened to them in service to their nation."

Maj. James Bales, the 2010 Air Force Male Athlete of the Year, from Peterson AFB, Colo., will coach the 2012 team.

The games are not about medals but helping wounded warriors recover from injury, Bales said when he was selected to be the Air Force's 2012 Warrior Games head coach.

"At the end of the day, it is about looking back and seeing how far wounded warriors have come and celebrating their triumph over their injuries," he said. "Warrior Games is about each wounded warrior competing at the best of his or her ability."

For more information about the 2012 Warrior Games, visit 2012 Warrior Games. For more information about Air Force wounded warriors, visit www.woundedwarriors.af.mil