U.S. Navy Hospital Corpsman, Senior Chief Petty Officer Joe Paterniti, a 1983 graduate of Bothell High School in Bothell who currently resides in Everett, Washington and serves as a paramedic firefighter will join more than 250 seriously wounded, ill and injured service members and veterans at the 2018 Department of Defense Warrior (DOD) Games June 1 through 9 at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Paterniti 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.
Paterniti is excited to be a part of a Team Navy at the Warrior Games.
“We are on the same team, coming together to support each other and represent the Navy and the military honorably,” said Paterniti. “We get to meet others like us from the other branches of service. I feel so blessed to be a part of it!”
During the nine days of competition Paterniti will compete in field, cycling, powerlifting, and rowing.
“Our Navy Wounded Warrior athletes have shown incredible resiliency in their personal roads to recovery through Commander, Navy Installations Command (CNIC)’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 (CNO) 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.”
Paterniti was selected for team Navy after the competitive Wounded Warrior Trials in February at Naval Station Mayport in Mayport, 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.
“I have always found sports and physical activity very healing on their own,” said Paterniti. “Meeting other people who have service related injuries and ailments is priceless. Being on the team with these people is my favorite part. I love them as my family.”
These games provide an opportunity for athletes to grow physically, mentally and spiritually from the sportsmanship and camaraderie gained by representing their respective service teams in a friendly and spirited competition. It is an opportunity for athletes to showcase their enduring warrior spirit in the presence of their families and grateful nation.
“Adaptive sports have given me something to look forward to on days when I may not feel much hope,” said Paterniti. “It has given me something fun, new and challenging to participate in. And I have learned new skills that I never thought I could do, let alone do well enough to compete in.”
The Navy honors the sacrifices of wounded warriors from the Navy and Coast Guard by providing them top-notch non-medical support through Navy Wounded Warrior (NWW) – Safe Harbor. All enrollees in NWW are encouraged to make athletics a key component of their recovery efforts. By promoting wounded warrior participation in competitions like the DOD Warrior Games, NWW helps enrollees heal through adaptive sports.
For more information about the 2018 DOD Warrior Games, please visit http://www.dodwarriorgames.com
Lt. Cmdr. Jenn Womble is a Commander in the Navy Installations Command.