US Olympic Committee Paralympics Warrior Games 2012

(note: the following was written by Mary Arteaga, a Red Cross volunteer in Orange County)

As soon as I learned there were going to be these Olympic style Warrior Games in Colorado Springs in the first week of May 2012, I knew I wanted to be a part of them.  I have been a Red Cross volunteer with Service to the Armed Forces (SAF) for the past 6 years and have come to think of these men and women as my true heroes.

First Lady Michelle Obama came to the Opening Ceremonies!  She is doing really great work to support our military and their families.  I drove down a day early to watch the cycling event.   Pedaling a bike for 18.3 miles is hard enough with two legs, astounding with only one or with a hand cycle.

I worked the Wednesday evening shift in the gym with the Wheelchair basketball games and was also able to watch a part of the Sitting Volleyball game between the US Marines and the team from the UK.  They really play all out.  Imagine playing volleyball with no legs!

These athletes are amazing to watch.  To have been injured so terribly – in some cases just a year or so ago – and now be able to participate in those sports plus Track and Field, Archery, Swimming, and Shooting takes determination beyond words.

Many of their families were there to cheer them on.  These families have made such tremendous sacrifices for our country.  They really are all heroes.  Hoo-ah!