An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

NEWS | April 1, 2023

Soldier: A life-long commitment

By Robert Whetstone Army

Sentimentally called ‘the family business,’ the rare few who raise their right hand to protect the nation against all enemies foreign and domestic have an intimate understanding of what it means to serve in the Army. They have experienced an organization that gives them values, a creed, a life-long commitment, and a sense of belonging.

The creed alerts Soldiers to the very core of what will stay with them long after they take off the uniform for the last time. Two lines in particular resonate with what is happening at the Army Adaptive Sports Camp currently taking place at Fort Bragg, North Carolina: 'I am a warrior and a member of a team,' and 'I will never quit.'

From March 28 – April 5, wounded, ill and injured warriors from across the country left their Soldier Recovery Units and gathered to test themselves and remind themselves that they are still members of the team. Adaptive sports are reminding these Soldiers they are important Army ambassadors.

U.S. Army Sgt. Bill Anderson, Fort Benning, Georgia SRU, talked about some benefits of adaptive sports. “I would say adaptive sports is important because it lets you know you’re not alone and it gives you activities to participate in even though you might have some kind of injury or something else you’re dealing with,” he said. “I learned that I have the will to continue and the strength to move on, even when I think there are roadblocks in life sometimes.”

Joy Davis, occupational therapist, Fort Bragg, North Carolina SRU, talked about the importance of adaptive sports. “Adaptive sports helps in all aspects of holistic recovery,” she noted. “Nobody wants to be hurt or injured and taken out of their position in the Army, but if they can find fellow Soldiers they have things in common with and learn 'this (adaptive sports) is an outlet for me,' it gives them purpose.”

Davis was inspired by every Soldier cheering one another on at the events. “You see them leading with their heart and spirit,” said Davis. “Even here in the pool you can see people who maybe haven’t done it (swimming), and this is their first time out there, but they’re not afraid; they’re just putting their best foot forward, and all their peers are rallying behind them.”

‘I am an American Soldier,’ and ‘I will never leave a fallen comrade’ are two additional statements in the creed that are on display at the Adaptive Sports Camp. These statements are a springboard to something eternal for those who serve within the ranks called ‘Soldier for Life Program.’ When one of these Soldier-athletes steps up to compete, they are cheered on, picked up, and carried to the finish line emotionally, mentally, and sometimes, physically.

Davis feels adaptive sports is a combat multiplier for Soldiers in an SRU and reminds them that they are Soldiers for life. “I think it gives them a different sense of purpose; a different goal to achieve for themselves,” she added. “I think this (adaptive sports) can help them get back into the fight. It is a positive Army experience.”

Once you earn the title Soldier, you are a Soldier for life, according to the website. It also engages with and connects to Soldiers, veterans, and their families to create opportunities. Adaptive sport helps create those opportunities and demonstrates a commitment to Soldiers in the SRUs.

“The Army’s commitment to me shows that it doesn’t give up,” said Anderson. “It doesn’t leave anyone behind. Even when you feel like you might be alone sometimes, it shows that they’re always there.”

“This experience (Adaptive Sports Camp) makes me know that I’m a Soldier for life,” explained Anderson.