MSgt. Kenneth Guinn, 325th Civil
Engineering Squadron Explosive Ordnance Disposal Logistics section
chief, readies an arrow on a recurve bow at Tyndall Air Force Base,
Fla., on May 15. Guinn was selected to participate in the 2018
Warrior Games. Air Force photo by A1C Delaney Gonzales
A total of 250 athletes, representing the US Air Force, Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and US Special Operations Command, as
well as British, Australian and Canadian armed forces, began
competing in this year’s Department of Defense Warrior Games on Friday at the US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo.
The games, which run through June 9,
“showcase the resilient spirit of today's wounded, ill or injured service
members through Paralympic-style sports,” Pentagon spokesperson Dana White said
The athletes in the games have overcome
White pointed to a Marine staff sergeant who was
injured by an IED attack in 2009 in Afghanistan, who will represent SOCOM in eight events, and a retired Air Force tech sergeant battling breast
cancer who will compete in sitting volleyball.
One participant is USAF MSgt. Kenneth Guinn, 325th Civil Engineer Squadron
Explosive Ordnance Disposal logistics section chief, who will join 39 team
members selected from more than 300 applicants.
“It is like going
into battle again with 39 other brothers and sisters,” he said in an Air Force news release. “We compete,
train, share rooms, live and eat together. We do everything together. So it’s
nice to show up and cheer each other on as part of a team."
Injured in both
knees while on deployment in Afghanistan, he said his surgeon at first said he
would probably never run again, and that if he did it would be extremely uncomfortable.
After a lengthy recovery, he began training for Wounded Warrior Games.
“I started running
and eventually I got picked up for the Air Force trials in 2017,” he said in the release. He
won every race in his classification that year, setting three new records. This year he was picked for track, field, archery, power-lifting,
sitting volley ball and wheelchair basketball, he said.
Other participants include Air Force Capt.
Hunter Barnhill, a 37th Flying training Squadron instructor, discovered to have
brain cancer, who watched the Invictus Gams for wounded, injured and ill
service members and veterans after his surgery, and qualified for — and will
compete in – shooting, cycling and indoor rowing.
“When you get down
to it, the real motivation is competing alongside other resilient airmen,”
Barnhill said in a Defense Department news release. “I wanted to compete alongside them. These people at the Warrior
Games know, in a way, what I’ve gone through. That’s a bond we all share.”
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