by Alex Salinas
Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph Public Affairs
9/23/2013 - JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas -- Eighty-five
Air Force wounded warriors from around the nation participated in a
week-long adaptive sports camp Sept. 16-20 at Joint Base San
The camp, offered by the Air Force Wounded Warrior Program, featured a
variety of physical activities: air rifle, air pistol and archery;
cycling; sitting volleyball; swimming; wheelchair basketball and yoga.
For some athletes, it was their first time attending an adaptive sports
camp. For others, the event offered training grounds to prepare them for
the Warrior Games scheduled in May.
"It's an opportunity for these athletes to focus on their abilities and
not their disabilities," Tony Jasso, Air Force Wounded Warriors Adaptive
Sports program manager, said. "Adaptive sports opens doors in the lives
of our athletes that injury and illness once closed."
For Air Force Staff Sgt. Daniel Crane, a security forces patient at
JBSA-Lackland, a shotgun-blast injury he sustained to his right arm a
year ago from an anti-military local in Guam, where he was stationed,
didn't waver his passion for sharpshooting.
"I've always been a pretty good shot, which I owe to my security forces
training," Crane, who is naturally right-handed, said. "This is my
second sports camp and I plan to refine my aim so I can represent the
Air Force in shooting events at the Warrior Games."
Crane now fires air rifles and air pistols with his left arm, but said his "fundamentals are still there."
Local Army and Marine wounded warriors competed against Air Force
warriors in wheelchair basketball and sitting volleyball for part of the
San Antonio has the largest Paralympic program in the nation, which
bolsters the local wounded warrior sports scene, Jasso said.
"We offered the opportunity (to join the program) to 700 new athletes,"
he said. "We're helping them form a brand new identity, creating a
paradigm shift from patient mentalities to athlete mentalities."
Andy Harris, a retired Air Force technical sergeant who joined a wounded
warrior network in Virginia, traveled to JBSA-Randolph for his first
adaptive sports camp.
"I work as an artist and I tend to stay at home a lot," Harris, who's
diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, said. "My wife heard
about the camp and I thought it'd be helpful to learn some adaptive
By day two of the camp, Harris already formed a bond with several others
and said "it's incredible to be in a room full of people you don't have
to explain yourself to."
The camp also helped relieve his PTSD, Harris said.
"My results are measured with smiles," Jasso said. "I can see an impact
on our wounded warriors' recoveries. They arrive without knowing anyone
and leave with many friends."
Staff Sgt. Jared Miller, 902nd Security Forces Squadron combat arms
instructor, was with other squad members at the local shooting range,
watching Air Force wounded warriors - some with walking sticks and
others without limbs - showcase their skills for three days.
"They give us a sense of pride knowing they can go downrange, make great sacrifices and come back to do this," Miller said.
The camp at JBSA-Randolph was the last adaptive sports camp before the Warrior Games selection camp in February.
Athletes selected at the February camp will represent the Air Force at Warrior Games 2014.
Air Force wounded warriors interested in joining the adaptive sports
program can call Jasso at 565-5265. For more information, visit