2014 Warrior Games

Army Families Gather at 2014 Warrior Games Opening Ceremony

September 29, 2014

By Caitlin Morrison
Warrior Transition Command

Service members from all branches come to attention for the presentation of the colors and singing of the national anthem during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Warrior Games at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
U.S. Army photo by Lance Cpl. Carson Gramley

"There's no quitters in the crowd," said Juanita Phillips of the audience full of wounded, ill and injured service members at the fifth annual Warrior Games opening ceremony yesterday. This is Mrs. Phillips and her husband Lloyd Phillips’ second trip from Cullowhee, North Carolina to Colorado Springs to see their son, Michael, compete in the Warrior Games.

Retired Capt. Michael Phillips comes from a military family--his father served in Vietnam, his two brothers in the Marine Corps. After Michael’s injuries, however, Juanita was concerned for her son. "He went from 'I don't care, I can't" to 'I can and I will’,” she said. “This program brought my son back and gave him and me another chance."

Another proud Family in yesterday’s audience was the Barroquieros, of Gainesville, Georgia. Retired Capt. Frank Barroquiero had the honor of carrying the Olympic torch, which was passed to a representative of each service branch and then to two members of the 2014 Paralympic sled hockey team. "The opening ceremony was great,” said Barroquiero’s wife, Bethany. “I loved being able to watch him carry the torch. I can't wait for this week and to see all their hard work pay off."

Retired Sgt. 1st Class Ben Trescott returned to Colorado for his third Warrior Games, this time with his wife, Cat. "Having the chance to be a part in any way is a blessing,” said Cat, who travelled from Clarksville, Tennessee. “Seeing these amazing athletes overcome and compete at this level is amazing. Doubly so for me, as I get to support my husband and cheer him on during his competition."

A number of athletes had their children in the audience as well. "It meant the world to me that my son and daughter came to the opening ceremony at the Olympic Training Center,” beamed retired Sgt. Matt Spang, a Colorado Springs resident. “They are here to support me and to see me still competing with a new meaning to life, to never say no to whatever life throws at you."