Former 419th reservist to compete in Warrior Games

HILL AIR FORCE BASE — A former reservist in the 419th Fighter Wing is set to compete in the 2014 Warrior Games competition Sept. 28 to Oct. 4 in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Tech. Sgt. Andrew Evans served in the wing’s 67th Aerial Port Squadron for 10 years before being medically retired in June. Evans suffered spinal injuries during a hiking accident while on annual tour in Alaska in 2013 and is paralyzed from the waist down.

The Warrior Games are designed to introduce wounded service members and veterans to adaptive sports and encourage them to stay physically active.

Evans attended trials at Nellis AFB, Nevada, in April and was one of 40 athletes selected to represent the Air Force during the games, which include archery, cycling, shooting, sitting-volleyball, swimming, track and field, and wheelchair basketball. Evans will compete in the shooting and cycling events.

The 419th alum is training hard for the competition’s six-mile race.

“Two times a week I do intense elevation climbs, and the other days I focus on distance,” Evans said.  “My goal changes each day, but I usually try for about 15 miles each day.”

Evans’ motivation to join the Warrior Games stems from his love of sports and the camaraderie he feels with his teammates, he said.

“These men and women have faced the harshest adversity of their life, but they never give up,” Evans said. “They are true inspirations because there’s not one person who would give up the sacrifice they paid for these injuries.”

Bryan Magaña contributed to this article.

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