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Local wounded warrior competing in Dept. of Defense Games

Sierra High School and Auberry native U.S. Navy Senior Chief, William Longworth, retired. (Photo courtesy Navy Office of Community Outreach )

COLORADO, SPRINGS, Colo. – Retired U.S. Navy Senior Chief, William Longworth, a 1998 Sierra High School and Auberry, California native, will join more than 250 seriously wounded, ill and injured service members and veterans at the 2018 Department of Defense (DOD) Warrior Games June 1 - 9 at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Longworth will be competing against athletes from the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Coast Guard, Air Force, Special Operations Command (SOCOM), Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom.

“Being selected to represent Team Navy at the Warrior Games helps me show my friends and family that just because I am disabled doesn’t mean that I can’t ‘still compete in activities I have always enjoyed,” said Longworth.

During the nine days of competition Longworth will compete in shooting, archery and field.

"Our Navy Wounded Warrior athletes have shown incredible resiliency in their personal roads to recovery through Commander, Navy Installations Command (CNIC)'s Adaptive Sports Program. The actions of these athletes demonstrate the Navy’s core attributes of integrity, accountability, initiative and toughness," said Vice Adm. Mary Jackson, Commander, Navy Installations Command.

The Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) has said that we will remain the world's finest Navy only if we all fight each and every minute to get better', there is no better example of this performance than what our sailors and Coast Guardsmen in the Navy Wounded Warrior Program do each and every day."

Longworth was selected for team Navy after the competitive Wounded Warrior Trials in February at Naval Station Mayport in Mayport, Florida. Team Navy includes service members and veterans with upper-body, lower-body, and spinal cord injuries; traumatic brain injuries; visual impairment; serious illnesses; and post-traumatic stress.

“Adaptive sports have helped me realize that I am still able to participate in activities that I enjoy,” said Longworth. “The adaptive sports program reintroduced me to archery and motivated me to pursue it more.”

These games provide an opportunity for athletes to grow physically, mentally and spiritually from the sportsmanship and camaraderie gained by representing their respective service teams in a friendly and spirited competition. It is an opportunity for athletes to showcase their enduring warrior spirit in the presence of their families and grateful nation.

When asked what he would like to share with others who may be battling an illness or injury Longworth said, “ I would tell anyone, not just those with an injury, that participating in sports is a great way to help you get back to normal, whatever that may be.”

The Navy honors the sacrifices of wounded warriors from the Navy and Coast Guard by providing them top-notch non-medical support through Navy Wounded Warrior (NWW) – Safe Harbor. All enrollees in NWW are encouraged to make athletics a key component of their recovery efforts. By promoting wounded warrior participation in competitions like the DOD Warrior Games, NWW helps enrollees heal through adaptive sports.

For more information about the 2018 DOD Warrior Games, please visit www.dodwarriorgames.com.

This story provided by Lt. Cmdr. Jenn Womble, Commander Navy Installations Command.

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