MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va. – Marine Corps Reserve Staff Sgt. Richard Delarosa-Buglewicz earned a silver medal in the men’s open 800-meter finals June 23 and plans to compete in swimming June 27 and to run the 1,500-meter June 28 at the 2015 DoD Warrior Games at Marine Corps Base Quantico in Virginia.
Delarosa-Buglewicz ran in the 2014 Warrior Games and earned bronze in the 400 and 1,500, so earning silver was a step in the right direction.
“I wish I could’ve raced the guy who got first but he was in the other heat. I would’ve passed him,” Delarosa-Buglewicz said.
“But I set a personal record and ran a 2:15 half mile,” he added.
Delarosa-Buglewicz said he hadn’t run track since middle school, so he felt he did well since he’s more of a long-distance runner.
“I run marathons so I don’t really get warmed up until 30 or 45 minutes into it. With this kind of running, you have to get warmed up within 30 seconds so it’s different muscle groups but we have pretty good coaches this year,” he said. “Plus, the same two guys who beat me last year are here again this year, so I hope I got a little bit quicker.”
Delarosa-Buglewicz’ first marathon was the Marine Corps Marathon in 2013. He then did the Army Marathon in 2014. His goal is to get under the four-hour mark and eventually qualify for the Boston Marathon.
Delarosa-Buglewicz, a reconnaissance Marine, said he gets his love of running from his grandfather, Joe Buglewicz, who served in the Navy in the late 1950s.
“My grandfather gave up smoking by running and started at 100 meters every week. Then he was running 25 miles a day, and he ran 44 marathons in the span of about 10 years,” Delarosa-Buglewicz said. “He missed qualifying for Boston by 15 seconds. He did triathlons as well and got me into those.”
Delarosa-Buglewicz’ grandparents, Joe Buglewicz and his wife, Jan, cut short a vacation to attend this year’s DoD Warrior Games.
When he participated in his first triathlon -- the Fountain Hills Triathlon -- his grandfather noted that it was 25 years to the day when he had competed in it himself.
Delarosa-Buglewicz’ grandparents weren’t able to watch him run here at Quantico but instead watched the live feed. They did see him compete June 23 in archery, and though he didn’t medal, he did set personal records.
“I got 14th out of 37. So to me that was a victory, because last year I was dead last. It was a personal best,” he said.
Military Service, Injury
Delarosa-Buglewicz said he joined the Marines because his family has served for generations. One uncle served in the Marines in the 1970s; another uncle served in the Army in the 1980s; and a third uncle served in the Air Force in the 1990s; one grandfather served in the Navy in the 1950s while his other grandfather retired from the Air Force after 27 years. He also has a great uncle who was a Marine colonel.
After joining the Marine Corps, Delarosa-Buglewicz deployed to Haiti for the earthquake in 2010. He also served in Afghanistan from 2010 to 2011. During his deployment to Afghanistan, he sustained a traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress.
Delarosa-Buglewicz said he lost weight and his desire to run or be active after he returned from Afghanistan. He and his wife, Lindsey, work at Wounded Warrior Battalion East with service members transitioning out of the Marine Corps, and he said she introduced him to adaptive sports.
“I was just focused on online college but I was pissed off all the time because of stuff that happened on my deployment,” Delarosa-Buglewicz said. “Now, I can work out in the morning, run it out and get all that anger out in a healthy way.”
He tells transitioning service members and veterans that they should use the resources available to them.
“I wish you guys would just come out and let people like this and these facilities help you out,” Delarosa-Buglewicz said. “It could save your life one day.”
And disabled veterans who may still be in a dark place in their recoveries should reach out for help, he added.
“Don’t be afraid to open up,” Delarosa-Buglewicz said. “I know it’s kind of hard. Find a fellow vet that has the same situation as you. You’ve got to be willing to let people help you out because I’m very self-reliant so I don’t really like anybody helping me but sometimes you’ve kind of got to put that to the side and trust people.”
Delarosa-Buglewicz and his grandfather said they’re grateful that programs like the Warrior Games are available for today’s service members.
“My brother did two tours in Vietnam and he said they were treated much differently,” Joe Buglewicz said.
The Warrior Games program “is fantastic,” he added.