U.S. Navy Diver, Chief Petty Officer Julius McManus, a 1993 graduate of Delton Kellogg High School, has joined more than 250 seriously wounded, ill and injured service members and veterans at the 2018 Department of Defense Warrior Games June 1 - 9 at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
During the nine days of competition McManus, the son of the late James and Darlene McManus, who have family in the Hastings area, will compete in shooting, track, cycling and swimming.
“Participating in the Warrior Games has re-kindled my desire for competition and has helped me to remember that I am more than my injuries,” said McManus. “Learning how to compete using adaptive equipment has reinforced that I am still capable of accomplishing great things and giving back to my country, my community, and my sailors.”
He was selected for team Navy after the competitive Wounded Warrior Trials in February at Naval Station Mayport in Florida. Team Navy includes service members and veterans with upper-body, lower-body, and spinal cord injuries; traumatic brain injuries; visual impairment; serious illnesses; and post-traumatic stress.
McManus, who now lives in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida, will be competing against athletes from the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Coast Guard, Air Force, Special Operations Command (SOCOM), Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom. //
“The coaches have given me the tools to become an athlete and competitor again, the Navy Wounded Warrior (NWW) – Safe Harbor staff have shown me the resources to request assistance acquiring the necessary equipment to become an adaptive triathlete using a hand-cycle and push-rim racing wheelchair,” he said.
“I can honestly say that the adaptive sports program saved my life and has allowed me to be a better husband and father than I have been in many years.”
“Adaptive sports has helped me heal by providing a sense of purpose, comradery, and a family of brothers and sisters who help me feel normal,” said McManus. “As a former athlete who fell into a dark depression and was contemplating ways to terminate existence, participation in the adaptive sports program showed me that I was not alone and that there are still ways to feel alive beyond the pain.”
"Our Navy Wounded Warrior athletes have shown incredible resiliency in their personal roads to recovery through Commander, Navy Installations Command's Adaptive Sports Program. The actions of these athletes demonstrate the Navy’s core attributes of integrity, accountability, initiative and toughness," said Vice Adm. Mary Jackson, commander, Navy Installations Command.
“The Chief of Naval Operations has said that we will remain the world's finest navy only if we all fight each and every minute to get better. There is no better example of this performance than what our sailors and Coast Guardsmen in the Navy Wounded Warrior Program do each and every day."
For more about the 2018 DOD Warrior Games, visit https://www.dodwarriorgames.com/. Photo: U.S Navy Diver CPO Julius McManus training for cycling competition.