Hawaii-based Marines prep for 2013 Warrior Games
By Lance Cpl. Jacob D. Barber
| Marine Corps Base Hawaii | March 29, 2013
MARINE CORPS BASE HAWAII --
Every year, the Marine Corps Wounded Warrior Regiment selects 50 Marines from across the nation to represent the Marine Corps in a Paralympics-style competition known as the Warrior Games. The All-Marine team is selected according to how well each Marine performs at the Marine Corps Trials, a preamble to the actual competition. This year, two Marines from Wounded Warrior Battalion West — Detachment Hawaii will join the All-Marine team as they prepare to defend their first-place title by competing in many different activities at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., May 11 through 17
Lance Cpl. Jacob D. Barber
Marine Corps Base Hawaii
“I think the Warrior Games is one of the best things the Wounded Warrior Regiment has to offer,” said Sgt. Rafael Cervantes, an All-Marine competitor from Detachment Hawaii and native of San Diego. “It’s one of the best ways to recover — by training yourself for the event and just giving yourself a goal to stand by and focus on.”
Cervantes, who will be competing in cycling and volleyball, made 2013’s All-Marine team by performing exceptionally well at the Marine Corps Trials held earlier this year at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.
“I just tried my best and trained hard all year in hopes of making the team,” Cervantes said. “A lot of sweat and time went into the training I’ve done to prepare myself for the events, and I’m excited to see how well I do against everyone else.”
Sgt. Clayton McDaniel, an All-Marine competitor from Detachment Hawaii and native of Molalla, Ore., also made the team by excelling at his two events — shooting and archery.
“I would say I’m definitely proud of myself and excited about competing against the best,” McDaniel said. “There was quite a few people who participated in the trials, so to stand out and make this 50-man team means a lot — especially when we’re representing the Marine Corps against other services and even
Competitors for the event are categorized as “the best of the best.” Only top wounded warrior athletes from each military branch are chosen and even other nations including Canada and France participate in the annual game events.
“I would definitely compare the Warrior Games to the Olympics for those who are trying to get a better idea of what it is,” McDaniel said. “It’s a little more motivating though to see amputees on the track sprinting or in the pool swimming, but even more than that, these guys are athletes — great ones! Just being a competitor is an honor and I can’t wait to see how it goes.”