550 International Service Members, Veterans Join for 2017 Invictus Games

“It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.”

After tuberculosis impaired both of his legs, William Ernest Henley penned his 1888 poem, “Invictus,” which celebrates how resilience can triumph over adversity. This September, 550 wounded, ill, and injured Service members and Veterans will show the world just what Henley’s words truly mean.

The third Invictus Games, to be held in Toronto, ON from September 23-30, 2017, is an international Paralympic-style competition which draws together athletes from 17 allied nations to participate in nearly a dozen adaptive sports, including archery, athletics, cycling, indoor rowing, powerlifting, sitting volleyball, swimming, wheelchair basketball, wheelchair rugby, and wheelchair tennis. New to this year’s lineup is adaptive golf, which incorporates modified equipment for competitors facing physical or cognitive disabilities.

Photo of Lara Mastell leaning off the edge of the swimming pool donning a U-S-A swim cap and a tattoo on her right shoulder which says "Survivor"

U.S. Air Force Technical Sergeant Lara Mastel, a breast cancer survivor, trains for the Invictus Games at Hofstra University in New York on September 19, 2017.

 

Team U.S. includes 90 Service members and Veterans from the U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Navy and Coast Guard, and U.S. Special Operations Command, many of whom count the Department of Defense (DoD) Military Adaptive Sports Program (MASP) as a major driver throughout their journey to recovery. MASP provides competitive athletic opportunities to wounded, ill, and injured Service members through year-round adaptive sports camps and clinics held across the Nation.

Riding on the tails of the 2017 DoD Warrior Games this summer, the Invictus Games marks the second major competition of the year for many U.S., Australia, and United Kingdom athletes. His Royal Highness Prince Harry founded the Invictus Games after attending the 2013 DoD Warrior Games in Colorado Springs, CO. It was there he became inspired by the power adaptive sports had on physical, emotional, and spiritual recovery for wounded Service members. Fast forward one year, and the inaugural Invictus Games launched in London, U.K. in September 2014. Last year, America bared the torch in Orlando, and now, Toronto will host the 2017 event.

Active Duty Service members on Team U.S. include:

  • COL Daniel Dudek, U.S. Army
  • SPC Stephanie Morris, U.S. Army
  • MAJ James Pradke, U.S. Army
  • TSgt Jason Caswell, U.S. Air Force
  • SSgt Vince Cavazos, U.S. Air Force
  • 1st Lt Sarah Frankosky, U.S. Air Force
  • Capt Cal Gentry, U.S. Air Force
  • TSgt Lara Mastel, U.S. Air Force
  • TSgt Ben Seekel, U.S. Air Force
  • TSgt Brian Williams, U.S. Air Force
  • Capt Christy Wise, U.S. Air Force
  • GySgt Matthew Branch, U.S. Marine Corps
  • GySgt Dorian Gardner, U.S. Marine Corps
  • Sgt Ivan Sears, U.S. Marine Corps
  • AM1 John Dusseau, U.S. Navy
  • OS3 Melissa Klotz, U.S. Navy
  • IS1 Robert Troha, U.S. Navy
  • LCDR Ramesh Haytasingh, U.S. Special Operations Command
  • E7 Brant Ireland, U.S. Special Operations Command
  • MSG Keith “AJ” Jackson, U.S. Special Operations Command
  • TSgt Curtis Krenzke, U.S. Special Operations Command
  • LTC Dave Ohearn, U.S. Special Operations Command
  • MSG James Sandoval, U.S. Special Operations Command
  • SFC Yancy Taylor, U.S. Special Operations Command

View the full list of Service members and Veterans competing for Team U.S. here.

Follow @WarriorCare as we head across the border to support this inspiring event and cheer on Team U.S. from September 23-30, 2017!

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