By Lt. Tom Gordy, Chief of Naval Personnel Public Affairs
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (NNS) -- Team Navy/Coast Guard scored eight medals on the first day of the 2011 Warrior Games, May 17.
The team took five silver medals and three bronze medals during the morning's track and field events at the Gerry Barry Stadium.
U.S. Navy Master-at-Arms 3rd Class Nathan R. DeWalt, Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Angelo Anderson, Explosion Ordinance Disposal 1st Class Patrick Woodruff, and Lt. Daniel B. Cnossen won individual medals during the first day of competition.
DeWalt was Team Navy/Coast Guard first medal winner, earning two silvers, one each for the men's 800- and 100-meter wheelchair races.
"[Having won] the first medal - it feels good," the York, Penn., native said after the 800-meter race. "When I crossed the finish line, I couldn't breathe - I gave it 110 percent."
Though he suffers from paralysis as a result of a motorcycle accident, DeWalt had a full morning of competition, participating in the 100-, 200-, and 800-meter wheelchair races, as well as the sitting discus event. He will participate in the 10-kilometer handcycle race and wheelchair basketball later in the week.
Anderson also earned two medals, a silver in the 200-meter wheelchair race and a bronze in the 100-meter wheelchair race.
"It's phenomenal to represent Team Navy/Coast Guard," the Atlanta native said, describing what propelled him to the victories. "I realize this is so much bigger than me. I had a lot more motivation outside of myself to win this for our team."
Anderson, who suffered broken limbs during combat operations in Afghanistan, currently serves on active duty at the Navy Medical Center in Portsmouth, Va.
Cnossen, a native of Topeka, Kansas, took bronze in the men's 800-meter race for lower-body amputees.
"The 800-meter race was my best chance." he said after the race. "At the 500-meter mark I began to close the gap."
Cnossen, an active duty Navy SEAL injured by an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan, also participated in 100- and 200-meter races and will compete in the men's 50- and 100-meter swimming races May 18.
Woodruff left the field as Team Navy/Coast Guard's leading medal winner, earning individual silver medals in the men's 100- and 200-meter races (lower-body amputee), and a team bronze medal in the mixed 4x100-meter relay. He also placed fourth in the men's standing shot put event.
After learning that he had won his first medal, he said, "It feels good - I'm glad it helps my team. It feels great to be out here and competing again."
Woodruff, who became a single, lower-body amputee eight months ago following a motorcycle accident, continues to serve on active duty in San Diego, Calif., with Explosive Ordinance Disposal Training and Evaluation Unit 1. The Leonard, Texas native is also a member of the Navy/Coast Guard wheelchair basketball team, which defeated the Air Force team in the first round of the tournament later in the day.
Winning the bronze medal in the relay with Woodruff were:
• Retired U.S. Navy Lt. John C. Edmonston of San Jose, Calif. Edmonston, who suffered a traumatic brain injury in a motorcycle accident, works for the Navy as a civilian mechanical engineer with the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, Wash;
• Aviation Machinist's Mate 2nd Class Oswald Gould of Brooklyn, N.Y. Gould, a survivor of stage-four nasopharyngeal cancer, serves on active duty supporting the Fleet Readiness Center, Mid-Atlantic at Oceana Naval Air Station in Virginia Beach, Va.; and,
• Construction Mechanic 3rd Class Aaron Heldreth of Barstow, Calif. Heldreth, who became a single lower body amputee resulting from an auto accident, continues to serve on active duty Underwater Construction Team Two at Naval Base Ventura County, Port Hueneme, Calif.
Team Navy/Coast Guard had participants in 19 of the 20 men's and women's adaptive events.