JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- The U.S. Air Force Wounded Warrior Program (AFW2) is proud to announce the 2019 Air Force Warrior Games team. Forty primary and ten alternates were selected by a team of coaches and staff at the 6th Annual Air Force Trials on Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, on March 7. The 40-person team will go on to compete at the Department of Defense Warrior Games in Tampa, Florida, June 21 - 30.
The DoD Warrior Games is a Paralympic-style competitive event featuring 11 different sports: archery, cycling, track & field, shooting, sitting volleyball, swimming, track, wheelchair basketball and, for the first time in Warrior Games history, indoor rowing, powerlifting and time-trial cycling.
“While the Warrior Games is a competitive event it is more about resiliency and recovery,” said Col. Michael Flatten, AFW2 director. “These competitors are going out to show everyone how adaptive sports have helped them and will walk away with their personal bests in whatever sport they compete in. I am hoping they bring home a lot of medals but, in the end, I am really hoping they see themselves as part of a team that will help them achieve their very best.”
In an emotional interview with retired Tech. Sgt. Chunte Gonzalez, we heard the common theme of pride in being part of the team.
“To represent the Air Force again, I can’t even describe in words what that means to me. It is more than an honor. I just want to make the Air Force proud, just like I did when I served. It feels so good,” she said.
The team is made up of a mixture of active, Guard and Reserve Airmen and Veterans.
“We’re really excited by this new team,” said Marsha Gonzales, AFW2 support branch chief. “Over 50 percent are AFW2 members who have never competed with us before. I certainly echo Col. Flatten’s comments, the Warrior Games are meant to highlight how important adaptive sports are in recovery. Our team will do well, no matter what and we look forward to seeing them compete alongside their brothers- and sisters-in-arms.”
The primary athletes are:
Blanca Baquero-Cruz, Master Sgt.
John Berry, Airman 1st Class
Bryon Brightman, Staff Sgt.
Brett Campfield, Retired Senior Airman
Kristina Coble, Retired Staff Sgt.
Christina Davila-Lucier, Retired Staff Sgt.
Joshua Faine, Retired Master Sgt.
Steven Fourman, Tech. Sgt.
Larry Franklin, Retired Tech. Sgt.
DeMarcus Garrett, Senior Airman
Lisa Goad, Master Sgt.
Chunte Gonzalez, Retired Tech. Sgt.
Kevin Greene, Staff Sgt.
Kenneth Guinn, Master Sgt.
Shanon “Shay” Hampton, Retired Master Sgt.
Quinn Harrington, Retired Capt.
Lawrence “Rob” Hufford, Retired Capt.
Garrett Kuwada, Retired Chief Master Sgt.
Roann Leatz, Tech. Sgt.
Jordan Lee-Fatt, Retired Staff Sgt.
Melissa Martinez, Master Sgt.
Jayson McCoy, Retired Tech. Sgt.
Lisa McCranie, Retired Major
Kristen Morris, Retired Capt.
Melissa Nueva, Retired Tech. Sgt.
Joseph Pate, Retired Senior Airman
Seth Pena, Retired Staff Sgt.
Michele Prindle, Retired Tech. Sgt.
Lucas Purser, Retired Senior Airman
Ricardo Rivera, Retired Tech. Sgt.
Andres Rodriguez, Retired Master Sgt.
William Royster, Retired Tech. Sgt.
Joshua Smith, Retired Tech. Sgt.
Melinda Smith, Staff Sgt.
David Snyder, Senior Master Sgt.
Justice Stevens, Tech. Sgt.
Brandon Sullivan, Senior Airman
Aaron “Craig” Taylor, Staff Sgt.
Brian Williams, Master Sgt.
Heather Wright, Capt.
The alternate athletes are:
Karah Behrend, Senior Airman
Brian Biviano, Staff Sgt.
Faith Donato, Senior Airman
Nicole Favuzza, Tech. Sgt.
Kenneth Hinton, Retired Major
Roger Hopkins, Master Sgt.
Jason Howell, Lieutenant Colonel
David Lee, Retired Master Sgt.
William Preston, Retired Staff Sgt.
Follow the action at https://dodwarriorgames.com/ or on AFW2’s social media sites at www.facebook.com/airforcewoundedwarrior, www.twitter.com/afw2, and www.instagram.com/afw2. We’ll keep you update throughout the weeks and days leading up to the competition with athlete profiles and information about upcoming competitions.