CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. - The Wounded Warrior Regiment gathered
wounded, ill and injured Marines, Marine veterans and international
wounded warrior athletes for the 2015 Marine Corps Trials aboard
Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, CA during March 2015.
these Marines were Sgt. Michael Pride and Gunnery Sgt. Gabriel
Guest. Pride, a native of Kansas City, Mo., is the assistant coach
for track during the trials while Guest, a native of Palmdale,
Calif., is an athlete competing in track, cycling and swimming.
March 10, 2015 - Gunnery Sgt. Gabriel Guest, a single leg amputee (Left), and Sgt. Michael Pride, an assistant coach for track (right), reunite after seven years at the 2015 Marine Corps Trials aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, CA. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Brady Wood)
Pride and Guest were both injured due to a blast from an
improvised explosive device in late 2008 while deployed with
2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division.
Both Marines were sent to Balboa Naval Medical Center in San
Diego for treatment.
Pride and Guest have kept in
contact over the years via social media and catch up on lost
time whenever they run into each other such as at the Marine
“Guest knows how to take care of his
Marines,” said Pride. “Whenever I run into him he always
asks me how I'm doing and how my career has been since the
recovery from my injury. It's nice to know that even though
we don't work with each other anymore he still cares.”
Due to the IED blast in 2008, a Humvee rolled over onto
Pride's arm which caused him to have his left arm rebuilt
and fine-tuned which took two and a half years for him to
complete the recovery process.
Guest on the other
hand had his left leg amputated above the knee. He suffered
several compound fractures from the same IED blast in 2008,
but the doctors at Balboa believed that there was a good
chance of saving his leg.
However, four years later,
his left leg became infected multiple times and that is when
he decided to have his leg amputated.
During the trials,
Guest has been working closely with Pride to practice for
the track competition.
“Pride is an exceptional human
being,” said Guest. “Knowing him personally and working with
him professionally in the past has made his coaching that
much better. He competed in track in the past and is
excellent at physical conditioning so when he tells me to do
something I do it and it's been great learning from him.”
As a single leg amputee, Guest has noticed first-hand
that without his left knee it is hard to know exactly where
his leg is, but the coaching from Pride has helped him
control where his leg is and where he wants to place it
“He has taught me that keeping my core muscles
tight will help control where my leg goes,” said Guest. “He
has also taught how to increase my agility and that warming
up the muscles prior to the practice help out a lot.”
The purpose of the Marine Corps Trials is to provide an
opportunity for all wounded, ill and injured Marines to
further the rehabilitation of their minds, bodies and
spirits through competition and camaraderie.
By U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Brady Wood
The U.S. Marines
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