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Officials announce team bound for 2013 Warrior Games

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas -- Fifty Air Force athletes are one step closer to gold after being chosen to represent the service at the 2013 Warrior Games.

The Warrior Games is an Olympic-style competition open to all wounded, ill and injured military members and veterans. This year's event takes place May 11 through 17 in Colorado Springs, Colo. This will be the first year the Air Force will be represented by a 50-member team, the max for team size for all branches of service. Each branch of service sends a team to represent their branch and compete against the Air Force, Army, Navy, Marines, Special Operations Command, and the British warrior team.

The Air Force Wounded Warrior Adaptive Sports Program has held weeklong training camps in January and April to allow athletes to sharpen their skills and compete for a shot at becoming part of the Air Force team. The Air Force coaches are elite athletes and trainers, made up of mostly active duty Air Force and civilian coaches with U.S. Olympic and Paralympics experience. These elite coaches trained the first 50 member Air Force team in archery, cycling, wheelchair basketball, shooting, swimming, track and field and sitting volleyball.

This year's team includes:

Retired Maj. Dave Andrews, Colorado Springs, Colo.
Retired Tech. Sgt,. Byron Ballard, Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Capt. Lewis Barasha, F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyo.
Retired Senior Airman Brandon Bishop, Milwaukee, Wisc.
Retired Tech. Sgt. William Bjornes, Hopewell, Va.
Maj. Scott Bullis, Peterson AFB, Colo.
Retired Tech. Sgt. Corey Carter, Columbus, Ohio
Staff Sgt. Jason Caswell, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas
Retired Staff Sgt. Zuleika Cruz-Pereira, Junction City, Kan.
Senior Airman Rachel Edwards, JB San Antonio-Lackland, Texas
Retired Staff Sgt. Jason Ellis, Riverview, Fla.
Capt. Sarah Evans, JB San Antonio-Lackland, Texas
Former Senior Airman Darrell Fisher, Fayetteville, N.C.
Retired Staff Sgt. Larry Franklin, Radcliff, Ky.
Staff Sgt. Jason Frey, Charlotte Douglas Air Field, N.C.
Former Senior Airman Gene Gatzert, Converse, Texas
Tech. Sgt. Axel Gaud-Torres, Beale AFB, Calif.
Retired Master Sgt. Kenneth Gestring, Niceville, Fla.
Capt. Wesley Glisson, JB San Antonio-Lackland, Texas
Retired Staff Sgt. Jeanne Goldy-Sanitate, Rehoboth Beach, Del.
Retired Capt. Jael Hansen, Papillion, Neb.
Staff Sgt. Lara Ishikawa, JB San Antonio-Lackland, Texas
Capt. Mitchell Kieffer, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio
Retired Maj. Jennifer Kyseth, Tinker AFB, Okla.
Retired Staff Sgt. Jason Morgan, McKinney, Texas
Tech. Sgt. Kevin Murphy, Grand Forks AFB, N.D.
Retired Airman 1st Class Ramina Oraha, Chicago
Senior Airman Orion Orellana, JB San Antonio-Lackland, Texas
Retired Chief Master Sgt. Damian Orslene, Contonment, Fla.
Former Senior Airman Stephen Otero, Houston
Former Staff Sgt. Claude Owens, Beavercreek, Ohio
Retired Senior Airman Scott Palomino, JB San Antonio-Lackland, Texas
Retired Tech. Sgt. Kathryn Robinson, Detroit
Tech. Sgt. Joshua Robistow, Grand Forks AFB, N.D.
Retired Capt. George Romano, Minot, Maine
Former Staff Sgt. Matt Sanders, California City, Calif.
Master Sgt. Shawn Schwantes, JB San Antonio-Lackland, Texas
Retired Tech. Sgt. Keith Sekora, Seattle
Retired Senior Master Sgt. Noel Sepulveda, Severn, Md.
Retired Staff Sgt. Jack Shaw, Marine St. Croix, Minn.
Retired Maj. Gwen Sheppard, Brown, Deer, Wisc.
Senior Master Sgt. Martin Smith, Peterson AFB
Retired Senior Master Sgt. George Stiltner, Wilburton, Okla.
Retired Staff Sgt. Richard Tackett, Tucson, Ariz.
Retired Staff Sgt. Kevin Taylor, Satellite Beach, Fla.
Retired Tech. Sgt. Hugo Vitela, Tinker AFB, Okla.
Master Sgt. Simon Wess, Dyess AFB, Texas
Retired Tech Sgt. Christopher Wolff, Seattle
Retired Tech. Sgt. William Wymore, Saint Charles, Mo.
Retired Maj. George Zaldivar, Swansea, Ill.

Alternates are Senior Airman Timothy Babb, Hurlburt Field, Fla.; retired Master Sgt. Rafael Chaves, San Antonio; Tech Sgt. Monica Figueroa, JB San Antonio-Lackland, Master Sgt Benjamin Horton, Peterson AFB; Master Sgt. Shari Nel, JB San Antonio-Lackland; Staff Sgt. Eloy Rodriguez, JB San Antonio-Lackland; and Airman 1st Class Clint Williams, JB San Antonio-Lackland.

Now that the athletes have been chosen, coaches are compiling training programs for them and are connecting them with Paralympics clubs in their area to train.

The Warrior Games are developed through the partnership between the U.S. Olympic Committee, Defense Department and sponsors.

For more news and information about Air Force Wounded Warrior programs, go to For information about AFW2 and other personnel issues, visit the myPers website at

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