Warrior Games: Two Corpsmen and a Navy Doctor Pt. 1

By Steve Van Der Werff, U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery

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Throughout the games, the athletes stayed positive, supported each other and acknowledged their physical and medical challenges as the “new normal.”

The 2015 Department of Defense (DoD) Warrior Games concluded July 28, but not before showcasing the self-determination, resiliency, and support by DoD, shipmates, family, friends and the military medical community that is instrumental to helping our wounded, ill and injured service members overcome their physical obstacles.

Throughout the games, the athletes stayed positive, supported each other and acknowledged their physical and medical challenges as the “new normal.”

Also evident was the outstanding care provided by the entire medical staff, to include Team Navy, and personnel assigned to the joint medical team and the individual service teams. Their care and compassion was prominent throughout the competition.

Seventeen-year Navy veteran Cmdr. John Biery, Jr., senior medical advisor, Navy Wounded Warrior Safe Harbor, Commander, Navy Installations Command, hopes the American public are inspired by the extra effort the athletes must put forth to adapt and compete.

There were also Navy Corpsmen participating in the games.

For example, Hospitalman Katriana Durakovich competed in cycling and archery. She is inspired by Rosie the Riveter because of her attitude and “we can do it” motto.

Retired Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Nate Hamilton competed in cycling, shooting and sitting volleyball. To him the games aren’t about his experience alone. When he travels with the team, he’d rather make sure everyone else is taken care of and having a good time, saying “it’s a corpsmen thing.”

In the coming days, we’ll highlight each individual: their background, Navy service, what the games mean to them, and how they stay positive.