"Mentally and physically I don't believe I would have been able to row a 2k and finish, let alone win," explained Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Wesley Pincince. Through the Department of Defense's Warrior Care's Military Adaptive Sports Program
, Pincince did win.
MASP collaborates with non-profits and non-government organizations (NGO) to help recovering service members (RSM) and their families explore reconditioning and competitive opportunities.
"While going through and completing chemotherapy, radiation, and brain surgery, programs such as MASP really helped me to find focus and determination to be able to still use my body and work towards achieving goals that myself and Patrick set," Pincince continued. "Programs like this I know I will be alright and continue to succeed at goals that I have for the future."
Feb. 13, MASP partnered with a non-profit NGO to host over 30 athletes. Athletes ranging from RSMs, veterans, and disabled rowers competed in the 2022 U.S. Indoor Rowing Championships in Arlington, Virginia.
Patrick Johnson, MASP Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, coordinator and head row coach, had trained the athletes who competed. This resulted in 11 winning their classification as national champions and five medaled in their classifications.
RSMs can participate in both MASP and partnering organizations. Participants have shared how these programs have helped with their recovery, fitness goals, and social skills.
Marine Corps Lance Cpl. K.C. Higher shared, "MASP has motivated me to keep training and always remember where I come from and where I'm at. This program has opened doors and kept me in the groove for the Marine Corps Trials, Warrior Games, and Invictus Games."
Navy veteran and a rowing team leader, Paul Hurley said, "Participating in Indoor Rowing Nationals was really motivating because I didn't realize the impact I was having on the new generation of rowers. It makes me feel like I'm part of something special."
Raina Stroman, Air Force veteran, said, "This year's invitation came right when I was feeling anxious and low. It created a chance to break out of my head space, and for that day increase chatter from people I haven't spoken to in weeks."
"Everyone in MASP is kind and I feel safe participating. It's a struggle to find safe and welcoming places to train. I've met warriors, new mentors, and gained access to new opportunities. Their understanding with invisible wounds is irreplaceable. I'm grateful for their kindness and love," Stroman shared.
With the 2022 U.S. Indoor Rowing Championships over, service members start training for next year's competitions. MASP continues to provide a safe and inclusive environment for RSMs and their support group.
Warrior Care Recovery Coordination Program partners with local and national organizations to aid RSMs and their support group. This includes a wide range of adaptive sports, education, employment, and more. The RSM, their caregivers, and families benefit from this and can build new relationships, share their stories, and receive the targeted help that they need.
To learn more about Warrior Care’s Military Adaptive Sports Program and how to get involved, visit the MASP website
This story also appears on Military Health System written by Gabby Bonilla (edited by Mark Oswell)