Wounded Warrior Trials under way at Camp Pendleton

Athletes trying to make national Marine Corps team

CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. - Each one in their own way carries the scars of war, traumatic brain injury, loss of limbs, PTSD or all of the above, yet each is determined to outdo the other in a series of events known as the Wounded Warrior Trials.

"It's nice to be around these guys; they all know what we've been through and the camaraderie is always there," said Lance Cpl. Blake Watson from Virginia.  

Missing a leg and a damaged left arm, Watson was strapped into a chair for the sitting shot put in the track and field portion of the trials.  

There are a number of different events such as swimming, cycling, basketball and volleyball, with the goal of finding the 50 best to represent the Marine Corps during the national games against other branches of the armed forces in Colorado in May.  

It's the first time Lance Cpl. Richard Richer has tried out, and he quickly learned something when it came to the shot put.  

"It doesn't matter how big you are; it's all about the technique and without the technique you won't be throwing it anywhere," said Richer.

Helping these warrior athletes are volunteer coaches like Lucas McKay, a national shot put champion and all-American at the University of Georgia.  

"This is my third year volunteering to coach these guys and yes, we're cramming years of instruction into a few days, but I wouldn't miss this for anything," said McKay.


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