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2024 DoD Warrior Games: Wednesday, June 26 - Archery 0830-1900 and Wheelchair Basketball Prelims 1800-2200. Click here to watch live. GO TEAM ARMY!

NEWS | June 25, 2024

I’m going to push through to put my team on top!

By MaryTherese Griffin Army Recovery Care Program

U.S. Army Spc. Janmiguel Torres-Cruz is having the time of his life at the 2024 Department of Defense Warrior Games at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports.

“I couldn’t sleep the last two days,” said Torres-Cruz. “There are so many amazing Soldiers and veterans. To compete and be here - It’s a selective team, and I'm proud to be part of it!”

Torres-Cruz was selected to be on Team Army after the 2024 Army Trials in March of this year. While competing in a few individual sports, he is hyped and ready for team competition.

“I love rugby, volleyball and basketball,” he said. “I’m all about team sports! It will be two long weeks here, but I will push through to put my team on top! I’m all in!”

Torres-Cruz helped Team Army win bronze, the team's first-ever medal in wheelchair rugby, so he’s off to a great start. He marvels at the popularity of these Warrior Games with fans and is thankful he found his way here. “Adaptive sports picked me up from the mud and helped me change my mentality and keep going,” said Torres-Cruz, who severely injured his knee and back on a deployment to Poland a few years ago.

He had knee surgery and is continuing to care for his back after medically retiring this past March from the Fort Stewart Soldier Recovery Unit. There, he learned everything he ever wanted to about adaptive sports.

“When I saw adaptive sports and how I can challenge myself and push through the pain; I could push to my limits and still be happy about it,” he added. “It changed my life; that’s all there is to it.”

He was no stranger to sports before his injury, but said his injury will not keep him from being active. He said he gets humbled working in adaptive sports. “I was a part of big teams in Puerto Rico, and I was used to the training and practices,” said Torres-Cruz. But since I’ve been here, I will tell you I have never suffered and enjoyed myself more in a sport than adaptive sports.”

The supply logistics specialist from Puerto Rico said recovering without the Army Recovery Care Program would have been difficult, and he wouldn’t have learned about adaptive sports.

“I’m in love with adaptive sports and how they treat Soldiers in recovery,” he said. “The program helped me change my mentality. This injury isn’t the end of the road, and they helped me with my mental and physical health.”

Torres-Cruz is a full-time student back home in Puerto Rico where he and his fiancé are planning a wedding for next March. He looks back on his journey and is thankful for the help from the Army Recovery Care Program and adaptive sports.

“I’m only 27,” he stated. “I have a long life ahead of me. These sports help me daily. It lifts my spirits and puts that fire in my heart to keep going another day.”