Athletes Compete for Spot in 2014 Wounded Warrior Games

Wounded warriors from across the country gathered at Nellis AFB, Nev., on April 7 to kickoff the first-ever Air Force trials competition, according to a base release. Some 100 athletes are vying for 40 positions on the USAF team in the 2014 Warrior Games, said Jeffrey McClish, USAF recovery care coordinator for Nevada, Utah, and Edwards AFB, Calif., in a separate Air Force release. During the trials, which will last until April 11, the athletes will compete in seven events, including archery, basketball, cycling, track and field, swimming, shooting, and volleyball. Capt. Tony Simone and MSgt. Christopher Aguillera, the two survivors of the June 9, 2010, “Pedro 66” helicopter crash in southwest Afghanistan, joined Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman on April 7 to light a cauldron signifying the opening of the trials. Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh and CMSAF James Cody and their wives, Betty and Athena, also attended the opening ceremony. “This is a special week for about 137 people sitting here, but there are some people who’ve worked awfully hard to make it happen,” said Welsh, who thanked the families and friends who supported the athletes throughout their “survival process.” Welsh also thanked the Air Force Association, which is a platinum sponsor of the event, for its support through the Wounded Airman Program.