MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va. – The 2015 Department of Defense Warrior Games is a place where wounded, ill, and injured service members and veterans from the Marine Corps, Army, Navy, Air Force Special Operations Command and British forces can come together and have a spirited and fun competition.
For some, this competition will be their first. For others, it's a return trip they hope to make several times in the future. But for Marine Corps veteran Kyle Reid, it will be his last Games.
“It has given me my life back,” Reid said. “The Warrior Games is not something you can describe to someone in a way where they will understand. It is something that has to be experienced.”
From PTSD to Winning Gold
This will be Reid’s third year competing in the games and each time he has returned with gold medals in track and swimming events.
“He is just one of those guys you want to run with, and he will just motivate everyone on the track. When he is not around you can definitely tell,” said Richard Delarosabuglewicz, a fellow competitor and Reid's friend. “It’s great having him on the team. I think he inspires everybody to run and do their best.”
Reid said he was not always as motivated and happy as he is today.
After returning from a tour in Afghanistan, he said he developed a drinking habit and contemplated suicide many times. He struggled with his problems for a year before he realized that it was affecting his marriage. That moment pushed him to seek help, he said, and after being diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder he was assigned to the Wounded Warrior Regiment.
This was when he found out about the Warrior Games.
“I don’t base myself on my achievements … without enjoyment, it would not mean anything,” Reid said. “Because I enjoy the games, I am willing to work harder and the rewards have come since.”
Reid’s own hard work and dedication leads him to push his team to try even harder.
“When I come to practice, I like it when he is there. It gives you that edge to train a little harder and run a little bit faster,” Delarosabuglewicz said. “He is able to deal with and work around his disabilities every day.”
Delarosabuglewicz said Reid “is a perfect example of what the Wounded Warrior Regiment is all about and the games show how hard he has worked to get where he is now.”
Reid intends to make this his last Warrior Games because he was recently accepted to the St. Thomas University in St. Paul, Minnesota, where he plans to join the swim team and become a collegiate athlete.
“What I am going to miss the most about the Warrior Games is the camaraderie -- not only between the Corps but with the other branches as well,” Reid said. “I have a lot of friends here, and I will miss all of them dearly.”