JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas -- There are many roads on the road to recovery. Each situation is different depending on the person, severity of injury or illness and the lifestyle in which one would like to return to.
The road to recovery for Air Force Airmen seriously injured or diagnosed with an illness can be hard, but with the support seriously injured or diagnosed with an illness can be hard, but with the support of wingmen, family and friends, healing is possible.
Of the many recovering service members who turn to organizations like the Air Force Wounded Warrior Program is Tech Sgt. Linn Knight, an explosive ordinance disposal technician assigned to the 502nd Civil Engineer Squadron, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas.
“My first glimpse of the Wounded Warrior Program came from two of my Marine teammates who both lost their legs on my first deployment to Afghanistan,” said Knight. “Seeing them loose their legs was tough, but I was able to see both of them use a Wounded warrior program to get better. Today, one is a runner training for the 2016 Summer Paralympics and the other is a cyclist.”
Knight, who is a cancer survivor, was in attendance at the Air Force Wounded Warrior Adaptive Sports and Reconditioning Camp held Jan. 19-23 at JBSA-Randolph, Texas.
“I was diagnosed with stage-three cancer in May 2013; from the date of my diagnosis everything felt like a blur,” said Knight. “I had to immediately start chemotherapy to shrink the size of the tumor before eventually having radiation and surgery.”
The diagnosis was the start of Knight's road to recovery, but it wasn't one she had to embark on alone.
“I had my whole family here in San Antonio and my husband who an awesome job taking care of me, we had only been married three years but he stepped up when I needed him,” she said.
Like many other athletes at the Wounded Warrior Adaptive Sports and Reconditioning Camp, Knight also turned to sports and physical activity as a way to heal.
“I waited a month after my surgery before getting back into swimming, for me it was very therapeutic because it was my sport,” she said. “It was a challenge to get back into it because I was very active before but during treatment I was stuck on the couch.'
The Air Force Wounded Warrior Adaptive Sports and Reconditioning Camp brought together over 80 recovering service members from the U.S. Air Force to train and compete. The four-day camp included skills development and an introduction to adaptive sports in wheelchair basketball, sitting volleyball, softball, archery, shooting, swimming, cycling and track and field. For many of the competitors, this was the first training event prior to participating in the 2015 Air Force Trials followed by the Warrior Games in mid 2015.
“The Air Force Wounded Warrior Program means a lot to me; it has brought back the physical part of my life that was so important to me before the cancer,” Knight said. “After coming to these camps I really want to go to the games and sing the Air Force song after winning a medal.”
On her road to recovery healing is more than a process, it's a lifestyle.
“I'm hoping with all the coaching and all the help here I can continue to participate in the program and support the Air Force but at the same time my own rehabilitation,” she said.
By U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. DeAndre Curtiss
Provided through DVIDS
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