Fort Hood soldiers are seeing gold this week at the Department of Defense Warrior Games in Colorado Springs. The Games are held for wounded service members and veterans. The competition runs all week, but local Team Army soldiers are already scooping up medals.
Staff Sergeant Altermese Kendrick already secured a gold in wheelchair racing. Staff Sergeant Dorian Rhoten, Sr. has a silver in shotput and a bronze in discus. Team Army is gunning for a gold in seated volleyball, with preliminary games Monday afternoon against competitors like Air Force.
Kendrick was the torch bearer representing Team Army during the Opening Ceremonies, which even featured an opening speech by comedian Jon Stewart.
"Greatest honor. I can't really explain it. Everybody's been asking me the same question. I don't know what to say. It's the greatest honor I could have ever had. I love the Army, if anybody asks, I tell them that. And it was the greatest thing. And it was beautiful," Kendrick said.
She said it took a lot of work to get to this point.
"And a lot of the work is mental too. So, trying to be your best at something that's still new to you, so not giving us when the challenge is hard," Kendrick said.
Kendrick and Rhoten are soaking in all the energy with service members from every branch and nations like Canada, United Kingdom and Australia going head to head at the Air Force Academy.
Team Army Co-Captain Dorian Rhoten, Sr. knows something about a challenge.
"I'm representing some of the top notch athletes and I consider them top notch in all the branches because, you know what, Army rules anyway," he said.
He has been working out three times a day, five days a week for the past three months plus four to five hours of cardio on the sixth day to get ready.
As for Kendrick, she is just getting started. She will be training even more and headed to Sydney, Australia for the Invictus Games in just a few months.
To check out the events and results of the DOD Warrior Games, click here.