Over 180 wounded, ill and injured servicemen and women competed in the first ever Warrior Games this past weekend in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Among the competitors – Tillman Military Scholar, Marine Corps Master Sergeant William “Spanky” Gibson.
Four years ago yesterday, “Spanky” Gibson lost his lower left leg to a terrorist sniper’s bullet while serving in Iraq. He endured months of difficult rehabilitation and rigorous physical therapy. While recovering from his amputation, he set a goal of training for triathlons.
No stranger to this weekend’s competition, in 2007, Gibson competed in the Escape from Alcatraz Swim where he met Marine General James Mathis. Upon meeting General Mathis, his only request was…redeployment to Iraq, making him the first ever above-the-knee amputee to be redeployed to the front lines.
After his second deployment to Iraq, Gibson earned an opportunity to become the first enlisted congressional military legislative fellow. With this opportunity, Gibson and his family moved from Oklahoma to Washington, D.C.
Upon arriving in D.C. he worked for House Committee on Veteran Affairs Ranking Member Congressman Steve Buyer while enrolled at the University of Maryland – University College. He is currently working towards his psychology degree, a course of study which will aid his work with other disabled veterans. He now works at the Pentagon.
“I try to learn, increase my capabilities, minimize my limitations and try to set a good example for the younger Marines, try to help my fellow Marines,” said Gibson, 39. “That’s my life.”
For a recap of the weekend’s event and more on the Warrior Games click through to The Denver Post article by John Meyer – “Competing for new life at Warrior Games.”