TEAM R4V SUPPORTED VETERANS
James joined the Marine Corps to "become somebody better." During his two deployments, James endured both physical and emotional injuries. "Sports has allowed me a way to cope with stress, [prevented my] PTSD symptoms from becoming worse, and [has given me] a different outlook towards life and what it has to offer. It helps me relieve bad emotions, feelings and challenges me both physically and mentally." Team R4V awarded James funding for his CrossFit Level 1 Certification.
Harry joined the Air Force shortly after his 18th birthday. He worked as a liquid missile maintenance technician, a hazardous career field due to the daily exposure to fuels and chemicals. After suffering a a Gran Mal Seizure, he was reassigned to a personnel position; however, he continued to experience ongoing health issues. Harry felt limited because of his visual impairment and balance issues, but he decided not to let this stop him from doing things. "Adaptive Sports have given me the confidence and willingness to want to get out and get involved." Today, Harry is a recumbent cyclist, skier and rower. Team R4V awarded Harry a grant for his indoor rowing machine.
Since he was a very young boy, Scott wanted to join the Army. He served for a number of years in the 1980s and, horrified by the attacks on 9/11, reenlisted soon thereafter. Scott deployed to Iraq but, even before returning home in 2009, he noticed he had started to withdraw and isolate himself. He suffered from anxiety, depression and Agoraphobia. His relationships suffered. He could no longer fulfill his duties as a firefighter - a job he had loved. With time and therapy, Scott rediscovered his love for the outdoors. He now enjoys fishing, hunting, hiking, kayaking and biking. Team R4V awarded Scott a grant for his recumbent trike.
Teri's career in the Marine Corps was cut short when she sustained devastating injuries to her right leg and left hand. But Teri didn't let her injuries hold her back! Since her separation from the military, Teri continues to give back to others through fitness. "Though I didn't go on to be a Drill Instructor ...I have since lead hundreds of people to happier and healthier versions of themselves. The sport of CrossFit really propelled me forward in this journey. Training among like-minded people in a goal orientated and mission focused environment is what I missed after I got out of the Marine Corps, I am excited to provide that camaraderie for athletes in my community." Team R4V awarded Teri a grant for personal training certifications.
Jennifer, a veteran of both the Army and Air Force, suffered a traumatic brain injury, which left her with balance and memory issues. Now, 3 years post-injury, Jennifer is returning to her once active lifestyle with the goal of making the Air Force Team for the 2016 Warrior Games. Team R4V awarded Jennifer a grant for a gym membership and swim lessons.
Gerson joined the Marine Corps to escape the drugs and violence in his neighborhood. In 2010, he volunteered to go to Afghanistan where he was assigned to medivac security. Gerson witnessed death and trauma, which forever changed him. "Sports for me is an outlet for my agitation and rage. It is a way for me to get my body tired and exhausted in order for me to be somewhat decent to all those that come in contact with me during the day." Team R4V awarded Gerson a grant to allow him to train at his local CrossFit gym and to enjoy outdoor cycling.
Army veteran, Ricardo, suffered injuries resulting from a near rocket attack while in OEF in 2009. He now finds peace in scuba diving. Team R4V awarded Ricardo a grant to allow him to continue diving.
Craig does not let his injuries stop him from achieving his athletic dreams. An avid paratriathlete, Craig is 2014 Mr. Xterra! He finished third in the physically challenged division at the 2014 Xterra World Championships. Team R4V awarded Craig grants in 2014 and 2015 to support his paratriathlon endeavors. Read his 2014 Xterra race report by clicking here.
Robert was medically retired in 2013 after serving more than twenty years in the Army. He was injured on two separate occasions while deployed to Iraq in 2004 and 2007. Robert uses cycling to escape, stay physically fit, and connect with other wounded veterans. He continues to give back to his country and his fellow soldiers as a volunteer mountain bike leader with the Warrior Transition Unit at Fort Carson. Team R4V awarded Robert a grant to support the purchase of his new bike frame.
Jason, a purple heart recipient, was injured in 2007 during a mortar attack in Iraq. He was awarded Team R4V grants in 2014 and 2015 to support his passion for running. Says Jason: "Sport gives me both an outlet and a focus. When I’m out on a run it’s just me and my feet and some music. It’s a great Zen moment for me because it helps me calm my mind which is normally racing a million miles an hour and keeps me from dwelling on things." Read Jason's story by clicking here.
Stacy earned multiple medals for heroic actions under fire during her three tours in Iraq. She was awarded a Team R4V grant and trained with Head Coach Cami Stock for her first two triathlons. Click here to learn more about how sport changed Stacy's life and read her race report.
Jason joined the Navy to leave his small hometown, travel the world, and serve his country. He suffered a traumatic brain injury after being knocked unconscious while on a mission. Once physically active, Jason initially let his injury limit him. Today, Jason uses exercise to improve both his physical and mental well being. Team R4V awarded Jason and his family a gym membership.
Lonnie, a fourth generation Marine, comes from a family that has served our country since the War for Independence. Lonnie sustained numerous combat wounds in Iraq that have changed his life. He runs to take back control. "Endurance events offer me an opportunity to take control of my body if only for a short period of time. I feel like my old self when I am working towards the finish line with a laser focus on completing the race. It is the one time when my mind and body do what I want them to do." Team R4V awarded Lonnie a grant for his travel and entry to races.
While serving in the Army in 2008, Mike's doctors discovered the third largest meningioma/frontal lobe tumor in the history of the VA Medical System in his brain. After surgery and extensive rehabilitation, Mike defied the odds by becoming a triathlete and successful skier. Although Mike's personal goal is to someday complete an IRONMAN triathlon, his philanthropic goal is to become a ski coach in order to give back to other wounded, ill and injured veterans. Team R4V awarded Mike a grant to obtain his PSIA certification in adaptive skiing and to cover his entry fees into several triathlons and camps. Read Mike's story by clicking here.
Navy veteran, Brett, sustained near life-ending injuries when he intervened in an armed robbery in 2012. Not expected to live through the night, Brett spent 20 days in a coma after being shot in the abdomen. Since his injury, Brett has been healing through athletics competing in both the Warrior Games and Invictus Games. Brett now hopes to represent the United States wearing another uniform - that of a Paralympian as a member of the Sitting Volleyball Team. Brett is also a published author and motivational speaker. You can read about his near-death experience in his book "Miracle Man: A Bullet That Ignited a Purpose-Filled Life". Team R4V awarded Brett a grant allowing him to travel to the Olympic Training Center with other Paralympic hopefuls.
Jerry had served in the Army for more than 25 years when, in 2009, he was shot by in the forearm by a sniper in Afghanistan while on a counter IED and drug operation. After 28 surgeries and 3 years battling reoccurring infections, the pain of multiple surgeries, and drug complications, Jerry turned to physical activity to cope. "I have seen first hand that physical activity enhances healing. As in many experiences in the past, I became acutely aware 3.5 years ago that I was going to die if I didn’t get moving." Team R4V awarded Jerry a grant to support his cycling endeavors.
Ivan served his country for 20 years in the Army. After numerous surgeries and months of physical therapy following Ivan's accident, he turned to cycling to aid in his recovery. "Getting involved in sports after my injury not only brought back my smile and self confidence, it also brought my competitive spirit. Knowing that you can still compete at a high level regardless of injury/disability is very rewarding. New friendships are always a plus." Team R4V awarded Ivan a grant to support his competitive cycling goals.
Combat-wounded Army veteran, Robert, has embraced sports as a lifestyle. In describing the impact sports has had on his reintegration and rehabilitation, he says "it has enabled me to still play the sports that I used to play and still enjoy." Team R4V awarded Robert a grant allowing him to attend and compete in the Valor Games in San Antonio, TX.
New to paratriathlon, Mat joined the Team R4V family in 2015 as he explored the benefits and challenges of a multi-sport discipline. He dominated the visually impaired division in his first year in the sport! Team R4V awarded Mat a grant to support his race entries, travel and lodging during his 2015 triathlon season.
A part of the Team R4V family since 2012, Damian is famous around here for his declaration that "sports saves lives!" His declaration is based on his own personal experience after returning home from war. Sports brought him out of the darkness. Damian was awarded a Team R4V in 2015 to support his Paralympic dreams! Read Damian's blog series by clicking here.
In 2005, during John's second tour in Iraq, he was seriously injured while while battling the insurgency. Forty-eight of his brothers and friends lost their lives. Not surprisingly, John struggled after returning home. He found running after hitting rock bottom and describes it as his true north. John was awarded Team R4V grants in 2014 and 2015 to support his competitive spirit! Read John's story by clicking here.
After coming home from Iraq, George had a hard time leaving his home and began shutting out his family. He was asked to compete in the 2012 Warrior Games and it changed his life! Team R4V granted George his dream bow and it has motivated him to be a better competitor, husband, and father! Read George's bio by clicking here!
Sean Clifton was critically wounded while serving with the U.S. Army Special Forces in Afghanistan. He was shot multiple times by Taliban fighters and although his recovery was long and painful, he refuses to quit!! Team R4V is honored to sponsor Sean's CrossFit gym membership. Read more about Sean's incredible journey by clicking here.
When an IED detonated three feet in front of him in Iraq, Jason Murray knew he was in trouble. He awoke a month later completely blind and having no idea where he was.
Team R4V is thrilled to support Jason Murray with airplane tickets for him and his wife to travel to Texas to train for the 2016 Paralympics, funding for his new tandem racing bike, and a brand new racing helmet! Click here to read Jason's incredible story of triumph!
Chad joined the United States Air Force when he was 19 years old in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and came home a different man. Diagnosed with multiple injuries, Chad was having a tough time leaving his home. Click here to read how Team R4V and mountain biking changed Chad's life.
Jake was deployed to Afghanistan at the age of 19. He is one of R4V's CrossFit Walter Reed Athletes who is pushing limits and refusing to accept limitations. Read Jake's story by clicking here.
Team R4V is honored to support Derrick Mcmillon with archery equipment so he can continue to push the limits!
After bring injured in Afghanistan in 2011 and losing his leg, Murphy found it hard to stay motivated during his daily physical therapy sessions at Walter Reed Hospital. However, after finding CrossFit, Murphy smashed through his rehabilitative goals. Read his full story here.
Blinded by a bullet in 2007 while serving his country in Iraq, Daemon refuses to stop dreaming! Team R4V is thrilled to support Daemon in obtaining his Level 1 CrossFit Certification so he can continue to serve his country by GIVING BACK to his fellow wounded veterans. Read Daemon's story by clicking here.
Jason Hoover was Team R4V's July Athlete of the Month. Wounded on several occasions in both Iraq and Afghanistan while deployed under Air Force Special Operations Command, Jason refuses to QUIT!
Team R4V is honored to support Jason with a cycling coach so he can continue to push the limits!
To read more about Jason's journey, click here.
Team R4V is honored to support Chris Pantzke with archery equipment so he can continue to push the limits!
Justin served in the U.S. Army and was wounded on several occasions by Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs). Due to the multiple explosions, Justin lives with a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) - the leading wounds of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
Although these wounds are invisible, they affect Justin's life daily. He is bouncing back and working hard at his CrossFit gym. Click here to read more about Justin and how Team R4V is supporting him in not only healing, but getting better.