The core mission of Move United Warfighters Ambassadors is to
reach and engage more veterans in adaptive sports
Move United Warfighters Ambassadors are critical to the mission of Move United and the visibility of our work to the American people.
This program is designed to give you a forum to share your original, personal, and compelling story about how your Move United Warfighters experience influenced your life and why it matters.
This program is also meant to help you personally with your adaptive sports goals and empower you to be physically healthy and active. We want to hear how you are already impacting other Warriors or people with disabilities in your community; and what we can do to support your efforts in motivating the next generation.
As an ambassador, you represent Move United Warfighters with a dedication to service and the unique ability to be an advocate for people with disabilities. We need your help to further the mission and vision of Move United by getting more people with disabilities engaged in adaptive sports!
Meet Our Move United Warfighters Ambassadors!
Terry Hayes, PFC, U.S. Army (RET)
Move United Warfighters Ambassador Terry “Scooter” Hayes grew up an athlete playing lacrosse, softball and was an avid runner. After her injury, she looked up “wheelchair sports” and found Wheelchair Fencing videos from the Paralympic Games – she soon started her own lessons. After years of training, Terry is on the Team USA Parafencing Team hoping to compete in 2021.
When she’s not training, Terry stays busy swimming, participating in local art shows, and serves on a working committee of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging with USA Fencing. Terry lives in Florida with her wife and two dogs.
Chip Sell, Major, U.S. Army (RET)
Chip was struck by mortar rounds while on active duty in Iraq, causing severe injuries to his head, face, chest and legs as well as a traumatic brain injury. Since his injury, Chip has been involved in a number of outdoor activities through
Move United’s Member Network, including kayaking with Team River Runner, running in Hood to Coast, a 199 mile 12-person relay race and participating in the grueling 26.2 mile Bataan Memorial Death March. Chip currently lives in McCall, Idaho with his wife Marnie and daughter Victoria, where they volunteer much of their time for two Move United Member Organizations, Team River Runner and Adaptive Wilderness Sports of McCall.
Specialist William Mathis, U.S. Army (RET)
U.S. Army veteran William Mathis served one tour in Iraq and eight tours at the National Training Center, Shortly after returning to the U.S. William noticed his vision was fading due to exposure to unknown elements in combat. William reintroduced himself to sport after vision loss and tried goalball, rock climbing, snowboarding, weight lifting, archery and found that bowling, cycling and golfing stuck with him.
William says that adaptive sports give him a sense of accomplishment and independence saying, “People have told me i couldn’t do these things ever again because I was blind. I found I CAN, I just have to do it a little different than I did before.”
William lives in Colorado Springs, CO where he enjoys spending time outdoors with his wife and two children.
Dan Acosta, Staff Sergeant, U.S. Air Force
When a roadside bomb detonated in Baghdad in 2005, Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) technician, Dan Acosta, sustained life threatening injuries including the complete loss of his left arm. One year after the accident, Dan spent his first “alive day” at The Hartford Ski Spectacular where he was re-introduced to snowboarding. Since then, Dan has participated in many Move United events including golf and scuba diving. Dan loves to give back to his fellow veterans and works at a Veteran Service Organization in his community, Joliet, IL, where he lives with his family. Dan was awarded the Bronze Star and a Purple Heart for his service.
Lonnie Bedwell, Petty Officer 1st Class, U.S. Navy
Lonnie Bedwell served in the U.S. Navy for nine years. Three years to the day after leaving active duty service, Lonnie was shot in a hunting accident and lost his slight. In 2012, lonnie was introduced to Team Ruver Runner, a member organization of Move United and in August 2013, Lonnie became the first visually impaired kayaker to compete the entire 226 miles stretch of the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon, a route many consider to be one of the toughest in thecountry. Lonnie has three daughters and lives in Duggar, IN.
Johnny Birch, Sergeant, U.S. Army (RET)
In 2004, Johnny sustained muscle and nerve damage as well as a TBI and after being medically discharged from the Army and losing function in his right foot, Johnny needed an outlet to focus on and he found Taekwondo. Among the list of achievements, a couple of his most impressive are a Bronze Medal from the 2019 Para Pan-Am Games as well as being a two time National Para Taekwondo Champion. Johnny hopes to encourage others to “live each day to the fullest without regreat,” as he does. Johnny lives in Pennsylvania and trains with Carlisle Taekwondo & Fitness Academy, LLC.
Sarah Bonner, A1C, U.S. Air Force
Sarah Bonner sustained multiple orthopedic and neuromuscular injuries between 2004 and 2005, including a traumatic brain injury and PTSD during her service. She said that her first cycling event post injury was a challenge and changed her life for the better. She enjoys several different sports and hobbies and hopes to go back to school someday to study Recreation Therapy. Sarah lives in Lynchburg, VA.
A native of San Antonio and Houston, Staff Sergeant Timothy Brown joined the Marine Corps in 2003. He deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan as a radio operator, then, in 2008, he became an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Technician. It was on this third deployment that Brown was injured during an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) response. After being initially discharged from the hospital in May 2011, he was readmitted 21 times for follow-up procedures before retiring in April 2014. Following his retirement, Brown went back to school, graduating cum laude from Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business in 2020.
Brown took up handcycling in February 2012 to improve his fitness, both physically and mentally, and it soon became his most important and beloved activity. Since taking up handcycling, he has completed Race Across America with a team, ridden Ride the Rockies five times, and raced in dozens of marathons and paracycling events. Tim hopes to work for the Adaptive Sports Center in Crested Butte, CO. Tim says, “Adaptive sports have been my life since my injury, so I want to do what I can do to make sure others have the same opportunities.”
Richard Dyer, U.S. Army, SPC
Richard Dyer joined the Army at age 17 as it was always his desire to serve his country. in 2010, he was injured during airborne training after jumping from a C-130 when high winds forced him to land in a group of trees. He dislocated his shoulder and hip and spend five months in rehabilitation before moving to the Warrior Transition Unit at Fort Hood. An avid snowboarder, Richard has attended multiple snowboard race camps with Move United Warfighters. Richard lives in Plattsburgh, NH.
Captain Sarah Evans U.S Air Force, RET
Sarah Evans was serving in Afghanistan in 2012 when she was diagnosed with cancer, eventually leading to the amputation of her left leg at the hip. It was during her recovery at Brooke Army Medical Center that Sarah was introduced to adaptive sports. She has since participated in several Move United Warfighters events, including completing the entire 26.2 mile Bataan Memorial Death March on crutches. “My personal favorite sport is adaptive Crossfit mainly because of the community, but also because it helps me remain physically fit and in shape” said Sarah. She also enjoys the emotional benefits of adaptive sports. “Participating in sports has increased my self esteem and has allowed me to feel confident in everything I set out to do, whether it be physically, emotionally or professionally,” she said. A graduate of The Citadel, Sarah works for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as a Budget Analyst. She lives in Florida with her family.
Tony knew since he was four years old that he would join the military. At age 18, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and proudly served a 4-year tour on active duty. He was a civilian attending college when the Gulf War started. Tony redeployed to join Operation Desert Storm. On February 25th, 1991, after being in Saudi Arabia for only a week, the barracks where Tony was living was destroyed by the direct impact of an Iraqi Scud missile; 28 people died, including one of Tony’s best friends. Shrapnel hit Drees in the thighs, shattering the femur of his right leg and blowing the backs off both legs. Doctors told him they were going to have to remove his right leg, but he refused. He spent nine months in the hospital undergoing 58 surgeries, followed by three months of grueling physical therapy at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Eventually, shrapnel infection and a cancerous tumor that had wrapped around his femur mandated the ultimate loss from his war injury. Doctors amputated his right leg in February of 2018. Tony thus experienced a total of 74 surgeries since the day he survived the bombing. Tony completed both his Bachelors Degree in Business Administration and his Masters of Management Degree with the University of Phoenix. He was recognized for Diversity and Military Empowerment impact at the 2015 NAACP Image Awards for Education. Tony was awarded with the Purple Heart for his service. Tony is an ambassador for Move United.
Kirstie Ennis, U.S. Marine Corps, SGT
Kirstie was involved in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan in June 2012, causing multiple injuries including a left leg amputation and traumatic brain injury. One year later, Kirstie attended her first winter sports with Move United, where she relearned to snowboard. She continued to use these skills throughout the winter at several other events. “I can honestly say that adaptive sports changed my life,” says Ennis. “I now have the confidence to do the things that I never would have had the courage to try before.” For her service, Kristie was awarded a Certificate of Commendation, Afghan Medal, NATO Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Global War on Terrorism and Combat Action Ribbon.
Carlos Figueroa, Sergeant, US Marines and U.S. Army (RET)
Carlos Figueroa was injured in 2003 by an improvised explosive device while serving as a noncommissioned officer in the US Army in Iraq. The blast caused severe damage to his left leg and a traumatic brain injury. For his service Carlos received a Purple Heart, for wounds incurred in combat, two Army Commendation Medals and an Operation Iraqi Freedom Medal.
For the next 10 years the military doctors subjected Carlos to 32 operations while they tried to salvage his limb. Finally, in 2013, Carlos chose to have his left leg amputated below the knee. Within a year, he was learning to snowboard with Move United Warfighters. Since then, Figueroa has been snowboarding as much as possible.
“I enjoy and love snowboarding, because I feel free while out on the mountain. Up there, I’m no different from anybody. I’m at my happiest,” said Carlos Figueroa of the feeling of carving down slopes. “The moment that gate drops, it’s like the door opening on a raid. I go full blast. I’m able to get something back that I felt was taken away. That rush. I love it.”
Carlos’ journey has not been an easy one; but through his own persistence, and support from organizations like Move United, he has prevailed. He joined the Marines at 17 to escape his involvement with LA gangs, where he grew up as a teenager. He served one tour in Afghanistan and then received an honorable discharge from the Marines. In 2003, with the USA invasion of Iraq, Carlos enlisted in the Army and was sent to serve in Iraq. He lives in Texas with his wife and two daughters.
Move United Warfighters Ambassador and Retired U.S. Army Sgt. Christy Gardner was injured as a result of a Line of Duty incident, eventually resulting in the amputation of both legs. Always a multi-sport athlete, she has continued her pursuit of being an elite athlete to this day. Christy is a member of the USA Hockey National Women’s Sled Hockey Team, is aiming to compete for U.S. Paralympics at the Tokyo Summer Games in shot put and discus, and was recently added to the roster of the USA Surfing Para Surfing Team.
Orlando Gill, Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army RET
Orlando was serving in Iraq in 2004 when he was hit with a rocket-propelled grenade, causing him to lose his right leg above the knee. After being introduced to adaptive sports while rehabilitating at Walter Reed, Orlando became a certified adaptive scuba instructor. Today he also serves newly injured veterans as Move United Warfighters representative for Brooke Army Medical Center. Orlando was awarded a Purple Heart for his service.
Aubrey Hand, Senior Airman, U.S. Air Force (RET)
An Improvised Explosive Device (IED) blast in Afghanistan in August 2012 resulted in Aubrey becoming a below the knee amputee. Aubrey was first introduced to Move United at a golf clinic and has also participated in the Navy 5 Miler, Bataan Memorial Death March, and The Hartford Ski Spectacular. Adaptive sports has allowed him to test the limits of what he calls “the new me.” “It allows me to feel as if I’m no different than anyone else. The mechanics may be different, but I can prove to myself that I can overcome anything I put my mind to.” The Purple Heart recipient resides with his wife and son in South Carolina.
Staff Sergeant Michael Kacer, U.S. Army National Guard, RET
Michael Kacer was wounded in Afghanistan in June 2008 when his team came under fire and the building he was in was impacted by five rocket blasts. The blasts collapsed both of his lungs, shattered three ribs, and severed his wrist, while severely damaging his arm and the left side of his face. Waking up four days later in Walter Reed Army Medical Center, he then began the twenty month rehabilitation process. “While at Walter Reed, sports was introduced to me to not only help me integrate with people and build confidence, but to fill my life with a huge piece of normalcy.” said Michael. He started participating in a variety of activities including snowboarding, surfing, and running. “There has been nothing but a positive outcome from my involvement in sports and Move United Warfighters. When I’m running I feel the most free,” he said. For his service, Michael was awarded a Bronze Star, Purple Heart, three Army Achievement Medals, Army Certificate of Appreciation and a Navy Marine Achievement Medal.
Cameron went to Dickerson College where he joined the ROTC, studied Arabic and earned a degree in Middle Eastern all to help prepare him for a career in the military. After graduation, Cameron joined the U.S. Army.
Lieutenant Cameron Kerr was deployed with the 101st Airborne where he was stationed in Afghanistan. In 2011, Cameron stepped on an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) resulting in the loss of his left leg below the knee. Cameron was awarded the Purple Heart for his service.
Just nine months after his injury, Cameron re-learned to snowboard, as an amputee, with Move United. “It was one of the first big ‘I can do this again’ type of things,” he said. “I started realizing that something that I had done as a kid with two legs, and that I had loved as a teenager that I could get back into pretty seamlessly.”
Among Cameron’s athletic accomplishments, he has completed the Boston Marathon twice.
Earlier this year, Cameron continued to redefine disability and disabled veterans with a trek to Antarctica, skiing the last 60 nautical miles to the South Pole with the 2041 Foundation founded by Robert Swan, who was the first explorer to visit both poles,
Brad Lang, Staff Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps (RET)
Brad Lang served as an Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) technician in the United States Marine Corps. While on his third deployment, in July 2011, Brad was on patrol in Afghanistan when he stepped on an improvised explosive device (IED). As a result of his injuries, he lost both of his legs above the knee and fractured his pelvis. Brad was flown to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center where he rehabilitated with the assistance of his family. While there, he was introduced to Move United Warfighters through adaptive skiing. Since then, he has become a proficient monoskier, and is working to become an adaptive instructor to assist other Veterans. Brad earned a Purple Heart for his service and lives in North Carolina with his family.
Brian Lowen, Sergeant First Class, U.S. Army (RET)
Brian was injured in Iraq in 2015 as a result of indirect fire. After the amputation of his right leg, Brian got into adaptive sports, specifically golf, skiing and archery. Brian says, “Adaptive sports help us thrive and gives us something to look forward to during dark times. I needed to find my new normal and get back to being as active as I could like I was before my injury.”
Steve Martin, Corporal, U.S. Army
Steve served in the U.S. Army and National Guard for eight years. He was injured in Afghanistan in 2008 by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) while on operations as a State Department contractor. As a result of his injuries, Steve lost both legs below the knee. Not only has Steve walked, he’s completed more than 20 half marathons and three full marathons. Steve has also attempted a summit of Mt. Denali in Alaska and completed a successful summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa. Steve recently retired from his job as an Arizona State Trooper.
Matthew Melancon, Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army (RET)
Matthew “Matt” Melancon was on a routine patrol in Afghanistan in 2011 when his vehicle hit an improvised explosive device. The explosion caused severe injuries to both of Matt’s legs and collapsed his lung. After attempts to salvage his left leg proved unsuccessful, he chose to have the limb amputated below the knee in July 2013. Just a short five months later, Matt attended an event with Move United and learned to snowboard again. “That event gave my physical therapy a reason, beyond just walking again,” he said. After the event, Matt chose to have his right leg amputated in order to gain more mobility. “Move United exposed me not just to other amputees whose injuries were comparable, and often far more severe than my own, but true athletes and champions. i saw what i could be as long as i wanted it badly enough,” said Matt. He hasn’t let either amputation slow him down, snowboarding, rock climbing, scuba diving and marching the 26.2 mile Bataan Memorial Death March. Matt is a recipient of a Purple Heart as well as a Combat Infantryman Badge, Afghan Ribbon and Iraq Ribbon.
Kyle Moxley, Specialist, U.S. Army
Kyle was serving in Iraq in 2004 when an improvised explosive device exploded causing severe damage to the artery and nerves in his right arm as well as a traumatic brain injury. After completing his rehabilitation and moving to Colorado, Kyle was introduced to adaptive sports through a fellow injured veteran. Now he skis regularly and has recently started ski racing the Move United Warfighters. For his service, Kyle earned a Purple Heart, three Army Commendation Medals and two Army Achievement Medals.
Ron Nidetch, Sergeant, U.S. Air Force (RET)
While serving overseas in 1987, Ron sustained multiple injuries during a training resulting in in compression fractures on his spine and the amputation of his right leg below the knee. Ron participates in many adaptive sports including snow biking, bowling, air pistol and rifle, boccia, rock climbing, kayaking, and archery. Ron lives in Colorado.
Laura Ortiz, Sergeant, U.S. Army (RET)
Laura was injured in 2008 due to a hit and run motorcycle accident where she lost her right leg below the knee. After her injury, Laura found a new lease on life with adaptive sports. She is an employee at the Miami-Dade County Parks & Recreation center in their Health & Fitness Department where she is a certified fitness instructor and leads yoga classes, among other duties! Laura has also started her journey as an adaptive athlete in CrossFit! Laura is a big believer in the power of sport and exercise and leads by example.
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.
John “Pooch” Pucillo, Lieutenant Commander, U.S. Navy (RET)
Pooch enlisted in the Navy as a Naval Explosive Ordnance Disposal Assistant in 1991 and over 10 years in the EOD community he earned his Explosive Ordnance Senior Technician badge before his commission as an EOD Officer. In May of 2006 his patrol was attacked and a roadside IED blew into his vehicle resulting in an immediate above the knee amputation of his left leg. Pooch returned to full active EOD duty in August 2007. Pooch is an avid skier and scuba diver and has his Advanced PADI diver certification. He has been given the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, and several more awards.
Anthony Radetic, Warrant Officer 1, U.S. Army (RET)
In February 2004, Anthony suffered a spinal cord injury at the T7 level from a motorcycle accident while returning home from a training exercise at Fort Rucker, AL. An avid cyclist, Anthony first participated with Move United in the US Handcycling Summer Series, then alpine skiing in the winter months. Anthony currently races jet skis and lives in Alabama with his wife and kids.
While serving three tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, Sergeant First Class Landon Ranker sustained traumatic brain injuries and severe knee damage. Told by his doctors he would never run again, Landon began training and went on to earn medals at the Warrior Games, and completed the 197-mile Hood to Coast Relay, the largest relay race in the world, in 2010 and 2011 and completed the 26.2 mile Bataan Memorial Death March. He is the recipient of the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, and Meritorious Service Medal. Landon lives in Colorado.
Will Reynolds, CAPT, U.S. Army (RET)
In November 2004, Will was on dismounted patrol in Southwest Baghdad when he was wounded by shrapnel from an Improvised Explosive Device (IED). After 22 surgeries over several years to salvage his left leg, Will chose to amputate at the knee. He is an active skier, runner and cyclist. Will is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point with an MBA from the University of Rochester. He lives in Maryland with his wife and children and is a member of Move United’s Board of Directors.
Robbie Sheets, Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army (RET)
A rocket attach on his base in 2014 resulted in shrapnel wounded, ankle reconstruction and other severe injuries for Robbie. Adaptive sports have been an important part of the Combat Engineer’s recovery because, as he put it, “then I have no excuse to say ‘No, I can’t.” The Purple Heart recipient lives in Minnesota with his wife Katherine.
Todd Smalenberg, Master Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps
Todd has suffered a number of injuries throughout his military career. But while on a combat patrol in Shindand, Afghanistan in 2013, he severely reinjured his left ankle which led to a below-the-knee amputation. He received the Meritorious Service Medal with Gold Star and the Navy/Marine Corps Commendation. Todd got involved in adaptive sports to regain confidence and normalcy after the amputation. Among the events he has participated in with Move United Warfighters is the Bataan Memorial Death March in New Mexico. He and his wife Lynne live in Jacksonville, North Carolina.
GySgt Andrew Smith, U.S. Marine Corps
In 2005, at the age of 18, Andrew joined the Marine Corps. In 2006, during his first deployment to Iraq, he provided support to an Army unit in Ramadi. He filled in as an advisor for the Iraqi army and a machine gunner for the unit’s convoys and patrols. Andrew was injured during his first deployment with a TBI due to a vehicle collision. Andrew continued to serve and return back to Iraq a year later. After this second deployment, he spent his next three years providing security for three U.S. embassies: Wellington, Mozambique, and London. Upon completion of this tour of duty, Andrew returned to California and was deployed to Afghanistan to provide security training for Georgian coalition forces. After returning back to the states and completing 13 years of active duty, Andrew transitioned from active duty to the Marine Corps reserves due to residual effects from PTSD, TBI, and secondary conditions. During his time in the reserves, Andrew earned his graduate degree in health care administration from National University in La Jolla and currently working on his second Master’s degree in business administration from the University of San Francisco.
Michael Spivey, SGT, U.S. Marine Corps
In December 2010, Michael sustained a traumatic brain injury and had his right arm amputated above the elbow as the result of an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) during his second deployment to Afghanistan. IN 2011, Michael started surfing and snowboarding as part of his rehabilitative physical therapy to get back in shape and out of the hospital in San Diego. They quickly became passions: “I am always trying to get as much time as possible in the water or on a mountain because it keep me balanced,” says Michael. “I believe that if you stay physically active, the mind will follow.” He had the opportunity to compete for Team USA at the 2018 Winter Paralympic Games in PyeongChang, finishing 18th in banked slalom and snowboard-cross. Michael, who received a Purple Heart and a Navy Commendation Medal with Valor for his service, lives in California with his wife, Kris.
Matt Staton, CAPT, U.S. Army, RET
Matt has a traumatic brain injury as well as severe hip and leg injuries as a direct result of a gunshot wound from Iraq in 2004. An avid skier, Matt was re-introduced to the sport during his therapy. He worked to become a certified adaptive instructor and now regularly teaches other injured veterans at Move United Member Organization Wintergreen Adaptive Sports. Matt has a B.S. in civil engineering and currently works as Special Assistant to the Secretary of the U.S. Army. Matt earned a Bronze Star with Valor and a Purple Heart for his service. Matt lives in Virginia with his wife Jennifer and two daughters.
Jonathan Stone, Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps (RET)
After being injured during training, Jon got involved in adaptive sports back home in Ohio. Jon was a chapter representative for Move United Member Organization Team River Runner for many years and enjoys teaching others about the power of adaptive sports. Jon says, “I was an athlete growing up but after my injuries in the Marine Corps, I thought those days were well behind me but after being introduced to adaptive sports, I feel like I have a new lease on life.” After being discharged, Jon earned several degrees including a BA in History from Northern Kentucky University, a MA in History from the University of Cincinnati and a MED in Sports Administration from Xavier University. Jon lives in OH with his family.
Daniel Strausbaugh, Lieutenant, U.S. Navy (RET)
While oging through pilot training at Vance AFB in Oklahoma in 2017, Dan was diagnosed with Epithelioid Sarcoma (cancer), resulting in the amputation of his right arm above the elbow. His Move United Warfighters activities include the Billabong Surf Camp, Army 10 Miler, Bataan Memorial Death March, and The Hartford Ski Spectacular. Through adaptive sports he has developed unprecedented confidence in his abilities and capabilities as an amputee and use of his prosthesis. “My current standing as a competitive athlete in adaptive snowboarding, with Paralympic hopes, would never have occurred without adaptive sports.” Dan lives in Gunnison, CO.
Pamela Travis, Sergeant First Class, U.S. Army (RET)
Pamela Travis was injured stateside in 2007 and since her injury she has successfully cycled over 70 miles in a 3 day span after not being on a bicycle for 36 years! Pamela hopes to be able to bike competitively someday. Pamela works for the Defense Logistics Agency and resides in Virginia where she likes to spend time with her five grandchildren.
Peter Way, Major, U.S. Army (RET)
Peter served as a Special Forces medic in Afghanistan when he was injured in 2003 by a shrapnel from a nearby explosion. Pete has endured a total of 31 surgeries to date, and in 2014, as a result of complications from his injuries, he had his right leg amputated above the knee. Just over a year later, Peter was attending a Move United Warfighters event to train with the U.S. Paralympic coaches in Nordic and biathlon. Peter earned his undergraduate degree in English from the University of Georgia and his Master’s degree in Nursing from USC. He was awarded a Combat Medic Badge, Combat Action Badge and six Army Commendation Medals. Peter started an adaptive sports program in his home state of Georgia.
James White, Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army
Throughout his years of military service, James has endured multiple spinal issues related to combat, which includes a spinal fusion and spinal stimulator implant in his lower lumbar. James has also had to undergo reconstruction of his right ankle tendon which has resulted in instability and numbness. His tours of duty have included Fallujah, Iraq and Afghanistan. His honors include multiple Army Commendation Medals, two Army Achievement Medal, multiple Army Good Conduct Medals, and other service ribbons. Adaptive sports has taught him new ways of doing the activities he did prior to his injuries. “It makes you realize that even though you have injuries, you are still capable of doing things you love and enjoy.” James lives with his family in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Mark Whitson, Private First Class, U.S. Army (RET)
Mark was injured while stationed in Georgia resulting in the amputation of his leg above the knee. Mark started his adaptive sports journey at a cycling clinic through his local VA and that opened the doors to more opportunities. Since then, he has participated in many adaptive sports programs and events with Move United Warfighters like scuba diving, cycling, and alpine skiing and has trained to be a volunteer ski bike instructor at Move United Member Organization Adaptive Sports Program of New Mexico. Mark received his B.A in Psychology with a Minor in Sociology from the University of New Mexico. He still resides in the state with his wife where he lives by his motto, “never quit livin’.”.
Retired Army Specialist Steve Carmen served in U.S. Army Special Operations from January 2007 until January 2011 overseeing counter intelligence programs as a member of the 75th Ranger Regiment.
Steve competed at the 2019 Warrior Games in swimming, wheelchair basketball and cycling, a sport he won a gold medal in his category for both the road race and time trial. Steve was selected to represent the U.S. at the 2020 Invictus Games on the Netherlands. Steve climbs, skis and mountain bikes, among many other sports and activities.
He completed his Bachelor’s and Master’s at National University and is a member of Alpha Phi Sigma, the criminal justice honor society.
Bre Podgorski: firstname.lastname@example.org or 301-217-9842