El Paso Wounded Warrior competes in Department of Defense Games
U.S. Navy Hospital Corpsman, Petty Officer 2nd Class Christopher Alarcon, a 2002 graduate of Eastwood High School and an El Paso native will join more than 250 seriously wounded, ill and injured service members and veterans at the 2018 Department of Defense (DOD) Warrior Games June 1 - 9 at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Alarcon will be competing against athletes from the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Coast Guard, Air Force, Special Operations Command (SOCOM), Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom.
“It is such a great feeling being a part of Team Navy and competing with my brothers and sisters who have walked similar paths as I have,” said Alarcon. “Regardless of whether our injuries are visible or not visible, we all are warriors and it’s an honor and a privilege to be competing with and against these warriors.”
During the nine days of competition Alarcon will compete in shooting, cycling and powerlifting.
"Our Navy Wounded Warrior athletes have shown incredible resiliency in their personal roads to recovery through Commander, Navy Installations Command (CNIC)'s adaptive sports program. The actions of these athletes demonstrate the Navy’s core attributes of integrity, accountability, initiative and toughness," said Vice Adm. Mary Jackson, Commander, Navy Installations Command.
The Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) has said that we will remain the world's finest Navy only if we all fight each and every minute to get better', there is no better example of this performance than what our sailors and Coast Guardsmen in the Navy Wounded Warrior Program do each and every day."
Alarcon was selected for team Navy after the competitive Wounded Warrior Trials in February at Naval Station Mayport in Mayport, Florida. Team Navy includes service members and veterans with upper-body, lower-body, and spinal cord injuries; traumatic brain injuries; visual impairment; serious illnesses; and post-traumatic stress.
“Adaptive sports will help you not just physically but most certainly mentally,” said Alarcon. “We have all experienced similar injuries in one way or another, and this program connects you with other warriors that understand what you are going through and will help you adapt and overcome any obstacle that may come.”
These games provide an opportunity for athletes to grow physically, mentally and spiritually from the sportsmanship and camaraderie gained by representing their respective service teams in a friendly and spirited competition. It is an opportunity for athletes to showcase their enduring warrior spirit in the presence of their families and grateful nation.
Service runs deep in Alarcon family. His father served in the Marine Corps during the Vietnam war and his brother served in the Marine Corps in Iraq and Afghanistan. Alarcon said, “following in their footsteps, serving this beautiful nation, is something I will cherish until the day I die.”