Military Connection: Adaptive Sports Help Restore Warriors
By Debbie Gregory.
On nine consecutive days, June 19th– 28th, wounded, ill and injured service members and veterans from the Army, Marines, Air Force, Navy and Coast Guard will compete will compete in the Defense Department’s Warrior Games at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia. Also competing will be athletes from Special Operations Command, and a team from the British military.
As the athletes compete in track and field, shooting, swimming, cycling, archery, wheelchair basketball and sitting volleyball events, Dawn Davis will be cheering on her personal hero.
Army Staff Sgt. Cory Davis grew up in San Diego, and always wanted to work on helicopters. He enlisted in the active duty Army for nine years, took a break, and then became an avionics mechanic National Guard technician with the 1107th Theater Aviation Sustainment Maintenance Group in Springfield, Missouri. During a deployment to Afghanistan in April 2014, Davis hurt his ankle and lost control of his right arm.
His doctors thought he had injured the ulna nerve, and he was flown to Germany, and then back to the States. That’s when it became apparent that Davis had Parkinson’s disease, a progressive disorder of the nervous system that affects movement.
While Davis was recovering at the Warrior Transition Unit at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, his wife, along with Army Trials athlete Sgt. 1st Class Sam Goldenstein, the adaptive sports site coordinator, encouraged Davis to give adaptive sports a try.
During the recent Army Trials, Davis got into the finals in men’s compound archery, earning a gold medal in the men’s standing rifle. Davis can also boast some of the highest shooting scores of the day.
Parkinson’s disease usually strikes those over 50, but has been known to strike in younger adults. Most famously, Michael J. Fox was diagnosed at age 30, NBA player Brian Grant was diagnosed at 36, and major league baseball player Ben Petrick was diagnosed at 22.
Dawn said, “I am filled with pride when he approaches each obstacle he faces every day. His constant attitude of not giving up makes me so very proud and happy he is not allowing a terrible disease to control his life.”
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Military Connection: Adaptive Sports Help Restore Warriors: By Debbie Gregory