Showing posts with label Invictus Games. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Invictus Games. Show all posts

Monday, March 30, 2020

"And with this prayer I'm hoping that we, can be unbroken" by PTSD

Bon Jovi thanks Prince Harry for 'bringing a light' to PTSD sufferers as they release video for charity single recorded with the Invictus Games Choir

Daily Mail
30 March 2020
Prince Harry released video for charity single 'Unbroken' recorded in February
Recorded with Bon Jovi and Invictus Games Choir to raise awareness of PTSD
Jon and 12 choir members seen rehearsing and singing as one glorious group

Prince Harry has released the video for charity single 'Unbroken' he recorded with US rocker Bon Jovi and the Invictus Games Choir to raise awareness of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

The special version of the Bon Jovi track, re-recorded last month at Abbey Road Studios, is available to buy and stream now.

All proceeds will go to the Invictus Games Foundation, of which The Duke of Sussex is Patron, in support of the recovery and rehabilitation of international wounded, injured or sick military personnel.

The Choir and Jon recorded the single together in just two days, and in the video, Jon and the 12 choir members are seen rehearsing and singing together as a glorious group.
read it here
Bon Jovi
I was born to be of service
Camp Lejeune just felt like home
I had honor, I found purpose
Sir, yes, sir
That's what I know
They sent us to a place I never heard of weeks before
When you're nineteen, it ain't hard to sleep
In the desert on God's floor
Close your eyes, stop counting sheep
You hear them bootcamp anymore
We were taught to shoot our rifles
Then in one, then side by side
Thought we'd be made as liberators
In a thousand year old fight
I got this painful ringing in my ear
From an IED last night
But no lead light humvee war machine, could save my sergeants life
Three more soldiers, six civilians
Need these words to come out right
God of mercy, God of light
Seek your children from this life
Here these words, this humble plea
For I have seen the suffering
And with this prayer I'm hoping
That we, can be unbroken
It's 18 months now, I've been stateside
With this medal on my chest
But there are things I can't remember
And there are things I won't forget
I lie awake at night with dreams of devils shouldn't see
I wanna scream, but I can't breathe
And Christ, I am sweating through these sheets
Where's my brothers? Where's my country?
Where's my how things used to be?
God of mercy, God of light
Seek your children from this life
Here these words, this humble plea
For I have seen the suffering
And with this prayer I'm hoping
That we, can be unbroken
My service dogs done more for me
Then the medication would
There ain't no angel that is coming to save me
But even if they could
Today, 22, would die from suicide
Just like yesterday, they're gone
I live my life for each tomorrow
So their memories will live on
Once we were boys, and we were strangers
Now we're brothers and we're men
Someday you'll ask me, was it worth it to be of service in the end?
Well, the blessing, and the curses, yeah, I'd do it all again
Whoa-oh (Whoa)
Source: Musixmatch
Songwriters: Jon Bon Jovi
Unbroken lyrics © Bon Jovi Publishing, Universal Music Publishing Int. Ltd.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Veteran with PTSD overcome by flyover during Invictus and comforted

Tears of a hero: The heartwarming moment Invictus competitors comfort a veteran whose PTSD was triggered by a helicopter flying overhead

Daily Mail Australia
Mark Brook
October 23, 2018
  • A heartwarming moment at the 2018 Invictus Games in Sydney has left spectators in tears
  • Paul Guest, who suffers from PTSD became visibly upset during his wheelchair tennis match on Monday 
  • The 54-year-old Navy serviceman was frightened by a helicopter flying overhead and became upset 
  • Guest, who was comforted by his Dutch teammate Edwin Vermetten, was injured serving in Northern Ireland

Paul Guest (left) was so overcome with emotion he was unable to play and needed to be comforted by Dutch teammate Edwin Vermetten (right), who realised he was suffering
The touching moment an Invictus Games competitor comforted a fellow veteran suffering from PTSD has left spectators in tears.
British mine warfare specialist Paul Guest was visibly shaken when a helicopter flew by during his wheelchair tennis doubles match at Sydney Olympic Park on Monday.
The 54-year-old, who was injured serving during The Troubles in Northern Ireland, was so overcome with emotion he was unable to play and needed to be comforted by Dutch teammate Edwin Vermetten, who realised he was suffering.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Invictus Games and Dog Named Jester

Pooch SAVED war veteran and helped him compete in Invictus Games
The Daily Star UK
Ed Gleave
January 14, 2018

Jon, who took home a bronze medal last year, said: "I'm trying to push myself and see what I can achieve and that all seems a little bit easier when I've got Jester with me.

Ex-Royal Marine Jon Flint fell 30ft while abseiling during a training exercise in 1996.

It left him with a fracture in his lower spine, but because he was so fit it went undiagnosed until he left the services.

After quitting the Marines his condition got worse until he was unable to walk unaided.

That's when threeyear-old labrador Jester stepped into offer him a lifeline. Jon, a former lance corporal who served in Afghanistan and Iraq, said: "It's difficult to put into words how much difference he's made to my life and the life of my family.

"When I was in the Royal Marines I knew the guys with me always had my back. And now I know Jester has always got my back."

For three years, assistance dog Jester - featured on ITV's Britain's Favourite Dogs on Tuesday - has helped with taking out laundry, opening doors, answering the phone and picking up Jon's stick.

Jon added: "He's always with me wherever I go and he enjoys what he does for a living because he's a working dog.

"He's trained to enjoy it. He makes the things that I struggle with a lot easier."

Thanks to vital help from Jester, Jon was able to join Britain's archery squad for the Invictus Games. And while competing he became pals with its founder Prince Harry.
read more here

Saturday, September 9, 2017

UK:Amputee Afghanistan Veteran "Couldn't Prove Disability" Without a Card?

War hero blown up in Afghanistan barred from boarding train 'because he couldn't prove disability' 
The Herald 
Miles O'Leary 
September 8, 2017
Andy, who holds the record for being the world’s fastest single leg amputee, said having to prove his disability was quite disheartening.
Andy Grant was led away because he couldn't produce his disability railcard
An amputee war hero blown up in Afghanistan was barred from boarding a train and escorted by police from the station after being unable to 'prove' his disability.

Former Royal Marine Andy Grant was injured in an explosion in Afghanistan in February 2009 and had his right leg amputated in November 2010.

The 28-year-old, who now has a prosthetic leg, was left in total disbelief after a member of Virgin Trains staff asked him: "How do we know you're even disabled?" when he was unable to produce his disability railcard.

The 28-year-old, who now has a prosthetic leg, was left in total disbelief after a member of Virgin Trains staff asked him: "How do we know you're even disabled?" when he was unable to produce his disability railcard.
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Thursday, May 12, 2016

UK Walter Mitty Hunters Catch Fraud Before Invictus Games

Ex-soldier lied about being blown up by a bomb so he could 'look more of a catch' to women
Telegraph UK
Lydia Willgress
12 MAY 2016

Lorraine Richardson, whose son Matthew, 26, suffered severe injuries after a landmine explosion in Helmand seven years ago, told the Daily Record: "He should have admitted that this was all lies long before now.

A former soldier has admitted he lied about surviving a suicide attack carried out by a child in Afghanistan so he could "look more of a catch" to women.

Broxburn veteran Danny Hutchison returns from the 2015 Warrior Games in America lifting a bronze medal for British Armed Forces team. CREDIT: WEST LOTHIAN COURIER
Danny Hutchison told people he had been on a tour in the north of the country in 2008 when he was blown up by a bomb planted by a 12-year-old with a wheelbarrow.

The 43-year-old, from West Lothian, Scotland, posted pictures of a real attack to strengthen his story and was due to compete in the Invictus Games, a competition founded by Prince Harry for wounded servicemen and women, before he withdrew, citing health reasons.

His lies were uncovered in a blog post on The Walter Mitty Hunters Club - a website dedicated to exposing people who pose as soldiers - after a "concerned member of a well-known charity" tipped them off.
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Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Prince Harry Says Get Help Quickly for PTSD

Prince Harry, former President Bush stress importance of healing invisible wounds
US Army
By Shannon Collins
May 10, 2016

Former President George W. Bush and Britain's Prince Harry discuss the topic of post-traumatic stress during the 2016 Invictus Games Symposium on Invisible Wounds in Orlando, Fla., May 8, 2016.
(DoD photo by EJ Hersom)
ORLANDO, Fla. (May 10, 2016) -- Great Britain's Prince Harry, former President George W. Bush, and service members from each of their nations led a discussion at the 2016 Invictus Games Symposium on Invisible Wounds presented, May 8, by the George W. Bush Institute.

Former First Lady Laura Bush said she and the Bush Institute leadership were grateful the symposium was addressing an issue that affects so many veterans, as well as their family members, many of whom become their caregivers.

"George and I are committed to caring for our veterans and their families through the Bush Institute," she said. "We celebrate the service and sacrifice of our veterans at the 100-kilometer bike ride we host at our ranch and at the Warrior Open, a competitive golf tournament held in Dallas. We listen to the warriors tell their stories -- their triumphs and their struggles. Through these testimonies, we've recognized that the invisible wounds are not treated in the same way as the visible wounds, and that's why we're here today, to educate more people about those invisible wounds."


Prince Harry said the Invictus Games in 2014 in London smashed the stigma around physical injuries, and that he hopes this year's Invictus Games can do the same for invisible injuries.

The prince, who served in Afghanistan as a combat helicopter pilot, recently acknowledged that he has post-traumatic stress to bring light to the importance of recognizing invisible injuries. He said the key to fixing the problem is speaking out and using the resources available.

"I've spoken to everybody who has severe PTSD, through to minor depression, anxiety, whatever it may be, and everybody says the same thing: if you can deal with it soon enough, if you deal with it quick enough and actually have the ability and platform to be able to speak about it openly, then you can fix these problems," he said. "If you can't fix them, you can at least find coping mechanisms. There's no reason why people should be hiding in shame after they've served their country."
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Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Invictus Games Update

First gold medal of Invictus Games goes to 9-11 survivor
Orlando Sentinel
Stephen Ruiz
May 9, 2016

American Sarah Rudder kisses the 2 gold medals she earned Monday at the Invictus Games at Disney World. (Alex Menendez/Getty Images for Invictus Games)
It was a big day for Sarah Rudder. She was getting promoted in front of the Pentagon.

The date was Sept. 11, 2001.

"We were pulling survivors out at first,'' said Rudder, a retired lance corporal in the U.S. Marines. "The next day, I went to pull non-survivors, and upon pulling non-survivors, I crushed my [left] ankle. I had several reconstructive surgeries, but they couldn't save the leg.''

It seemed appropriate Monday that Rudder claimed the first gold medal awarded at the first Invictus Games on American soil. She won it in women's lightweight powerlifting and later added another gold in indoor rowing.
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Army Nurse Takes Pride in Representing Team USA at Invictus Games
DoD News
By Shannon Collins
Defense Media Activity
May 10, 2016
“I’m grateful for my family to be present to watch me compete, especially having my daughter in attendance for this year’s games, since she wasn’t able to attend the inaugural games,” she said. “These games are very personal for me, given my military career and background, and it’s a blessing to have my family in attendance to experience how much these games mean to me.”
Army Capt. Kelly Elmlinger performs laps in her race wheelchair at Joint Base San Antonio, Texas, while training for the 2015 Department of Defense Warrior Games, June 11, 2015. DoD photo by EJ Hersom

ORLANDO, Fla., May 10, 2016 — Fierce competitor Army Capt. Kelly Elmlinger will participate in track and field, swimming and rowing at the 2016 Invictus Games being held this week at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World here.

During the 2014 Invictus Games, Elmlinger’s first foray into the competition, she earned gold medals in the 100-meter and 400-meter wheelchair races, the shot put, and in the cycling time trial; silver medals in discus during track and field, the cycling road race, and the 50-meter backstroke in swimming. She took fourth place in the 50-meter and 100-meter freestyle in swimming.
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At Invictus Games, athletes forge powerful friendships in beating adversity
Stars and Stripes
Dianna Cahn
May 10, 2016

ORLANDO, Fla. — They didn’t know each other when one was blown up and the other was shot a year apart in southern Afghanistan.

By the time they met at a wounded warrior competition, retired Air Force Tech Sgt. Leonard Anderson was missing one arm below the elbow and all but one finger on his other hand. Air Force Staff Sgt. August O'Niell had endured at least a dozen surgeries.

Their lives have intertwined ever since.

They train and compete together. Anderson was there for O'Niell’s leg amputation and again when his daughter was born. O'Niell was there when Anderson, missing his hands, had no choice but to retire from the Air Force.

And when Anderson prepares for the swimming finals at the Invictus Games on Wednesday, his buddy will be there to help him to pull on his Speedo.

Their friendship is the story of these warrior games, where the fierce determination needed to get here comes with a disarming vulnerability. That’s a tough pill to swallow for these guys, but it forges deep friendships and a camaraderie among competitors like none other in the world.
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Monday, May 9, 2016

Air Force Master Sgt. Israel Del Toro Jr Defied The Odds Again

To Hell And Back 
Steve Wulf

Air Force Master Sgt. Israel Del Toro Jr. emerged from an inferno that ravaged his face and his fingers, but not his heart. By defying the odds and setting world records, Del Toro has inspired warriors and competitors all over the map.

“When the doctor told me I would never walk again, and that I would have to spend the rest of my life on a respirator, I told him, ‘Kiss my ass.’”
The eyes of Air Force Master Sgt. Israel Del Toro Jr. have seen a lot. The hills of Afghanistan and the mound at Comiskey Park in Chicago. His newborn son and what he thought might be his own death. A life his wife didn't quite deserve and the wedding she did. The ceilings of countless operating rooms and the skies above athletic venues where he would set world records.

On this mid-April day, though, those eyes are focused on the icy road ahead. A freak snowstorm has blown into the Colorado Springs, Colorado, area, but DT -- the name everyone calls him -- needs to get to the local fitness center at Woodmen Hills in Peyton to train for the upcoming second-ever Invictus Games (May 8-12) at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida. That's where the 41-year-old will compete against other wounded warriors from 13 other countries in the discus, shotput, power lifting and recumbent cycling.

This fitness trip is also an opportunity for some father-son bonding time, so Izzy, his 13-year-old namesake, comes along for the ride in the four-wheel-drive truck. "I apologize," DT says to the visitors. "I'm not in the best condition. I hurt my shoulder a few weeks ago shoveling 4 feet of snow in my driveway."

That said, he would put most other athletes to shame. From a standing position, he starts out by jumping onto a bench about 18 inches high. Again and again, again and again. Then, despite having half-fingers on his right hand and only a thumb on his left hand, he does an impressive series of bench presses, inflating the tattoos on his upper arms -- his guardian angel St. Michael on the left, a self-designed image of a man emerging from flames on the right.
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For 'DT,' recovery was all about family
Air Force Master Sgt. Israel Del Toro Jr. got third-degree burns on 80 percent of his body in a 2005 IED explosion in Afghanistan. But his love for his wife and son inspired him to survive and recover, and now he will compete in the second Invictus Games. Joe Amon for ESPN

Sunday, May 8, 2016

President Bush and Prince Harry Talk About Invisible Wounds At Invictus

Bush, Prince Harry highlight invisible wounds at Invictus
Orlando Sentinel
Paul Brinkmann
May 8, 2016

Del Toro was burned severely over much of his body and lost fingers in 2005 in Afghanistan. But he said psychological wounds were also very real. He said the military and his health-care team treated his visible wounds, but "my family dealt with my invisible wounds."
Bush underscored a major theme of the day when he suggested dropping the D from the end of PSTD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). "We don't view it as a disorder we view it as an injury," Bush said during a panel discussion.
Britain's Prince Harry joined former President George W. Bush Sunday afternoon on Disney World property to present and showcase ideas on how society can help military personnel overcome mental and emotional wounds after returning from active service.

The event took place just before the official opening of the international Invictus Games for wounded warriors, which is taking place this week at Disney's ESPN Wide World of Sports. Brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder and other "invisible" wounds were front and center.

The symposium brought a large international crowd to Disney's Shades of Green resort, an official U.S. Armed Forces Recreation Center Resort.

More than 500 competitors from 14 nations are competing in archery, cycling, indoor rowing, power lifting, sitting volleyball, swimming, track and field, wheelchair basketball, wheelchair rugby, and wheelchair tennis.
read more here

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Invictus Games Competitor Lauren Montoya Still Fit For Duty

Invictus Games competitor Lauren Montoya says adaptive sports 're-lit that fire in me to find myself again'
Tom Friend
Senior Writer
May 7, 2016

"The injury wasn't the hardest part; it was being taken away from Afghanistan before she was supposed to. There wasn't the transition time of, 'OK, I'm going home now, I'm ready, I've finished my job.' Now her job was just to lay in a bed. She's a go-getter. She can't just lay there. That's just not how she lives."
THE EARTH MOVED under her feet. That is Lauren Montoya's memory of war -- a constant rumble from the ground on up. Every sound, human or otherwise, was guttural, and she always had this sixth and seventh sense that someone was watching her, trying to kill her. For most of her stay in Afghanistan, she was a gunner stationed in an armored truck, her finger on the trigger of a 50-caliber machine gun, her job to have four eyes in the back of her head. There was no mental break allowed. The stress of it all was supposed to be trained out of her at boot camp, but that's only in theory. The reality was that Montoya's insides were always rumbling along with the earth. Until nighttime came.

Gunners get to shut their eyes, too. Montoya would slip into her sleeping bag each night at 3 a.m., in the middle of a Kandahar desert, and stare up at the stars. The sky seemed wider, brighter and more 3D in Afghanistan, almost mystical. The air felt fresher. She says maybe it was the juxtaposition between beauty and hate. But for whatever reason, the ground stopped moving for her at night. "We were in a war zone,'' she says. "There are enemy dudes watching us, and we can hear them over the radio. But it was probably one of the most peaceful and tranquil moments that I've ever had.''

All these months later, in San Antonio, Texas, that is the vision that keeps coming back to Lauren Montoya. Safe in her apartment, along with her wife, her daughter and her prosthetic, she lives for those Afghanistan nights. They are in her dreams and daydreams. They fuel her.

It is why she runs.

Soon enough, she received the news: The Army deemed her fit for duty. In other words, she was as qualified as any other able-bodied person to defend her country.
read more here

Friday, May 6, 2016

UK Veteran Competing in Invictus Games Swimming After Bomb Blast

Ex-soldier who shattered his arm in Afghanistan set to take on Invictus Games this weekend
Coventry Obserer UK
Shaun Reynolds
May 5, 2016

A FORMER soldier whose arm was left shattered when an explosive device was activated by the Taliban will represent his country this weekend at the Invictus Games in Orlando.

James McGill will compete in the 100 metres, discus and swimming events at this year’s games which start on Sunday (May 8) and run until Thursday (May 12).

The 26-year-old, who works for Jaguar Land Rover, will take part in his first Invictus Games – seven years after joining the army in 2009.

James, from Coventry, received multiple shrapnel and exit wounds to his arms and legs – resulting in nerve reconstruction in his left forearm with the addition of a titanium plate and pins to support bone structure.

Following the success of the inaugural event in London two years ago, this year’s games will see 500 competitors compete from 15 nations across ten sports including wheelchair rugby, wheelchair basketball and wheelchair tennis.

Mr McGill told The Observer he feels more confident in his ability on track than in the pool.

The inspirational athlete has always made sport a key aspect of his life and took part in multiple events before joining the army as a teenager.
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Sunday, March 27, 2016

US Marine Standing Tall Inspires Prince Harry

Standing tall, the 'incredible' amputee marine who inspires Prince Harry 
The Telegraph 
By Gordon Rayner 
27 Mar 2016 

US marine Kirstie Ennis was sent messages by Prince Harry as she fought back from a life-threatening infection following the amputation of her leg.
Prince Harry has saluted the “absolutely incredible” courage of his friend Kirstie Ennis after the US marine fought back from a life-threatening infection following the amputation of her leg.

Miss Ennis, 25, shared pictures on social media showing her standing on her new prosthetic limb in the spring sunshine and posing for modelling shots as she said she was “so thankful for the world around me”.

The Prince boosted her recovery by sending her messages in hospital and is now hoping she will be well enough to compete in the Invictus Games in Florida in May, the Paralympic-style event he launched two years ago.
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Thursday, March 17, 2016

Prince Harry "I Was Broken" After Having to Leave Afghanistan

'I was broken': Prince Harry reveals his devastation after he was withdrawn from Afghanistan... and how sharing an evacuation flight with amputees inspired him to launch the Invictus Games
Daily Mail UK
PUBLISHED: 08:36 EST, 17 March 2016
The 31-year-old Prince served for ten years in the British Army until 2015
He revealed his feelings after being withdrawn from the front line in 2008
He is now perfectly positioned to give wounded veterans a voice, he says
Harry launched the Invictus Games in 2014 after seeing how sport helped injured veterans at Colorado Warrior Games
Prince Harry was withdrawn after just ten weeks in Afghanistan amid safety concerns when news of his secret deployment was leaked in the media. Pictured above, he is pictured in Helmand Province in January 2008
Prince Harry revealed the poignant moment that 'broke him' in a television interview on Thursday – but also how it inspired him to become a champion for wounded veterans.

The 31-year-old, who served for ten years in the British Army, described his devastation after he was withdrawn from the front line during his first tour of duty in Afghanistan in early 2008.

Harry had been removed after just ten weeks in the Helmand Province amid safety concerns when news of his secret deployment was leaked in the media.

But it was only when he boarded his flight back to Britain that he saw the 'unbelievably traumatic injuries' his fellow soldiers had suffered, he told ABC's Good Morning America.
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Friday, March 4, 2016

Army Staff Sgt. Elizabeth Wasil Did Know She Broke Record

Aiming For Rio Paralympics, U.S. Army Sgt. Elizabeth Wasil First Seeks Redemption
Team USA
Karen Price
March 3, 2016

Elizabeth Wasil gets disoriented when she swims, so when she was first helped out of the pool at the Jimi Flowers Classic meet in January in Colorado Springs, Colorado, she had no idea what all the yelling was about.

“I don’t know where I am when I’m done swimming and my teammate, Reilly Boyt, was screaming, ‘You got a world record,’” Wasil said. “I was like, ‘Who are you talking to?’”
Wasil highlighted the Jimi Flowers Classic back in January with a new world record in the SB7 50-meter breaststroke.
Boyt was talking to Wasil, a sergeant in the U.S. Army, who has gone from newcomer to Paralympic hopeful in just four years. Just days after being named to the U.S. Paralympics Swimming National “A” Team, Wasil broke Jessica Long’s SB7 world record in the 50-meter breaststroke with a time of 41.21 seconds. This September, she hopes to represent her country at the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Paralympic Games, which has been her goal, she said, since the very start of her Paralympic swimming career.

“As soon as I found out that there was a chance that I could become a member of Team USA, I wanted it,” she said. “That was my sole focus and drive in every practice, every weight session, every competition.”

Wasil isn’t comfortable discussing the specifics, but the bilateral hip injuries she suffered while serving as a medic in Iraq in 2010 led to multiple surgeries and the loss of function in her lower left leg. Though she was never a swimmer growing up, her desire to return to active duty led her to the pool in January 2012.
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