1 minute readMilitary Support

Red Cross Provides Support to Warrior Games

Warrior Games

Our Denver and Pike’s Peak chapters have a special role in this week’s Warrior Games in Colorado Springs.

Warrior Games

Nearly 200 wounded members of the armed forces gathered beneath the Olympic Rings at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs yesterday to usher in the inaugural Warrior Games – a Paralympic competition amongst members of all branches of the U.S. military.

The event pits wounded, ill and injured military personnel against one another in the sports of archery, cycling, track & field, swimming, shooting, sitting volleyball and wheelchair basketball. The games represent a way for disabled servicemen and women to develop and showcase their abilities while building camaraderie and supporting physical and emotional recovery.

“Sports are, a lot of times, a new lease on life. You realize, ‘maybe I’m not as disabled as I thought,’” said Marine Corps MSGT Spanky Gibson. Competing in sports helps wounded servicemen “overcome the psychological barriers to recovery,” Spanky explained. “Everything else – the physical barriers – can be overcome through medication, treatment, physical therapy. This helps heal their self esteem.”

A member of the Marine Corps since 1981, Spanky was on foot patrol in 2006 when he took a bullet through the knee during a firefight. As a result, his left leg was amputated above the knee.

Warrior Games

The Warrior Games, which continue through May 14, are particularly well-timed for Spanky: they coincide with the anniversary of his injury – or rather, his survival.

“This Sunday is my ‘live’ date,” Spanky said. He’ll be marking the occasion by competing in the “Ultimate Warrior” competition, a pentathlon of sports.