JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas. —
Wounded Warriors from around the Air Force are preparing for the 2018 Department of Defense Warrior Games featuring competitors from four different countries and four U.S. military branches June 1-9 at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo.
For Master Sgt. Brian Williams, 343rd Training Squadron NCO in charge of Security Forces Apprentice Course operations at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, preparing requires a complex balancing act between putting the mission first and putting maximum effort into training for the games.
“My hours don’t fluctuate,” Williams said. “I have to adapt and put in the hours in the early mornings and on the weekends because I’m an Airman first. It’s a lot of long hours training, most of us are preparing for four, five or six events.”
Along with balancing work and training for six different events, Williams also has to adapt to his environment and find ways to get the proper equipment for training.
“It can be a real challenge getting all the necessary equipment for training,” Williams said. “I’ve had wheelchairs and such checked out to me through the Wounded Warrior program, but I’ve had to get my own bow constructed so I can train for archery.”
Even though training can be a challenge, Williams’ support network is what motivates him and gets him through the long days, he said.
“My leadership and my family have been very supportive,” Williams said. “My wife is prior military so she understands what kind of sacrifices I have to make.”
Another San Antonio-based Wounded Warrior, retired Staff Sgt. Anthony Pearson, a former financial management Airman, imparted that while the training is certainly challenging, the rewards are well worth it.
“The feeling of getting ready to compete with my teammates and seeing other people’s incredible stories is indescribable,” Pearson said. “I like to excel in all I do but the team sports are my favorite.”
Training for and competing in the Wounded Warrior Games builds incredible resiliency, Pearson said.
“To me resiliency means overcoming,” Pearson said. “That’s what the games are all about. It doesn’t mean everything is easy or a straight path, it just means finding a way to make things happen.”