Wounded Warriors find healing through competition


Las Vegas is playing host to the US Air Force Wounded Warrior Team Trials. The competition is helping veterans onto a path of recovery.

The tough, but friendly competition features everything from wheelchair basketball, track and field, archery, and cycling.

On Sunday the athletes hit the pool for a swimming competition.

“Today I’m here swimming. I swim the freestyle 50 yard and the backstroke 50 yard,” said athlete Eric Fisher.

It’s a big day for Eric Fisher, but it’s not all about winning.

“For me personally this therapy is everything all around. It’s my physical injuries and my mental,” Fisher said.

Fisher served in the Navy and Air Force for nearly 30 years. He was deployed overseas six times. He eventually needed help battling post-traumatic stress disorder.

“When I came home I didn’t want to go out or do anything,” Fisher said. 

Competing as a Wounded Warrior has helped him cope with PTSD.

“Our foundation for our program is to care beyond duty, and we truly are. It’s not a transactional program. We care from our hearts. We are their biggest fans,” said Marsha Gonzales who is with Wounded Warriors. 

Competitors come from all around the globe. It’s a friendly atmosphere with one major goal in mind, to promote mental and physical health.

“We have competitors from the Air Force, the Army, Great Britain and Australia. These are seriously injured or wounded service members who are focusing on their abilities and what they can do,” Gonzales said. 

For Fisher, the program has changed his life.

“It’s actually saved some lives to be here and do this stuff and have this energy and know that the Air Force is still here for you,” Fisher said. 

The competition continues into the week at Nellis Air Force Base.

Those who qualify will go on to represent the Air Force at the Warrior Games held in Chicago in June.

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