Orlando Perez, Private 1st Class, U.S. Army

Orlando fell from a training wall at Fort Jackson, South Carolina in May 1995, resulting in paraplegia due to a spinal cord tumor removal. The VA Recreation Therapist provided insight into what his future could look like, but it was an advertisement for the Veteran Games held in Puerto Rico that got him hooked. Orlando attended Oklahoma State University on a full wheelchair basketball scholarship and earned a degree in Adaptive leisure programming. He has been able to represent Puerto Rico in Para-sports internationally at the Centro-Americas, Americas, Para-Pan American and World level in basketball and has won a few Veteran games and other national events. He states “adaptive sports and recreation is a gateway to success in everyday life. Success or just the notion of reward and feeling accomplished is addictive,” Orlando owns P9-Adaptive Recreation in Utah.