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AFW2 announces 2019 Warrior Games team

eam Air Force for the 2019 Department of Defense Warrior Games in Tampa, Fla. are ready for the upcoming competition.

Team Air Force for the 2019 Department of Defense Warrior Games in Tampa, Fla. poses for a photo. The Air Force Wounded Warrior Program selected the team from a field of over 100 wounded warrior athletes. This team will compete against the other services and Special Operations Command, June 21-30, 2019. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Master Sgt. David Long)

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas (AFNS) --

The Air Force Wounded Warrior Program, or AFW2, is proud to announce the 2019 Air Force Warrior Games team. A team of coaches and staff selected 40 primary and ten alternates at the 6th Annual Air Force Trials at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, March 7th. 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 and 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, 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,” said Col. Michael Flatten, AFW2 director. “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.”

An emotional interview with retired Tech. Sgt. Chunte Gonzalez displayed the common theme of pride in being part of the team. She said, “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.”

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 is 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:

Master Sgt. Blanca Baquero-Cruz
Airman 1st Class John Berry
Staff Sgt. Bryon Brightman
Retired Senior Airman Brett Campfield
Retired Staff Sgt. Kristina Coble
Retired Staff Sgt. Christina Davila-Lucier
Retired Master Sgt. Joshua Faine
Tech. Sgt. Steven Fourman
Retired Tech. Sgt. Larry Franklin
Senior Airman DeMarcus Garrett
Master Sgt. Lisa Goad
Retired Tech. Sgt. Chunte Gonzalez
Staff Sgt. Kevin Greene
Master Sgt. Kenneth Guinn
Retired Master Sgt. Shanon Hampton
Retired Capt. Quinn Harrington
Retired Capt. Lawrence Hufford
Retired Chief Master Sgt. Garrett Kuwada
Tech. Sgt. Roann Leatz
Retired Staff Sgt. Jordan Lee-Fatt
Master Sgt. Melissa Martinez
Retired Tech. Sgt. Jayson McCoy
Retired Maj. Lisa McCranie
Retired Capt. Kristen Morris
Retired Tech. Sgt. Melissa Nueva
Retired Senior Airman Joseph Pate
Retired Staff Sgt. Seth Pena
Retired Tech. Sgt. Michele Prindle
Retired Senior Airman Lucas Purser
Retired Tech. Sgt. Ricardo Rivera
Retired Master Sgt. Andres Rodriguez
Retired Tech. Sgt. William Royster
Retired Tech. Sgt. Joshua Smith
Staff Sgt. Melinda Smith
Senior Master Sgt. David Snyder
Tech. Sgt. Justice Stevens
Senior Airman Brandon Sullivan
Staff Sgt. Aaron “Craig” Taylor
Master Sgt. Brian Williams
Capt. Heather Wright

The alternate athletes are:

Senior Airman Karah Behrend
Staff Sgt. Brian Biviano
Senior Airman Faith Donato
Tech. Sgt. Nicole Favuzza
Retired Maj. Kenneth Hinton
Master Sgt. Roger Hopkins
Lt. Col. Jason Howell
Retired Master Sgt. David Lee
Retired Staff Sgt. William Preston

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. AFW2 will keep you updated throughout the weeks and days leading up to the competition with athlete profiles and information about upcoming competitions.