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Pentagon announces Invictus Games competitors

Army veteran Sgt. Stefan Leroy competes in Athletics at York Lions Stadium during the 2017 Invictus Games in Toronto on September 25, 2017. (Roger L. Wollenberg/Defense Health Agency)

More than 20 active duty or retired soldiers, including at least one with a Fort Bragg connection, will compete on the U.S. team at the Invictus Games in May.

The Department of Defense announced the names of the team’s 65 competitors Oct. 7. The games will be in The Hague, Netherlands, on May 9-16.

Staff Sgt. Paul Reifke will be one of the competitors. He previously served in the 16th Military Police Brigade’s 115th Military Police Company at Fort Bragg

More than 500 wounded, ill and injured service members from 19 allied nations are scheduled to compete, according to a statement released by the Pentagon. Competitors will take part in archery, athletics, indoor rowing, powerlifting, road cycling, sitting volleyball, swimming, wheelchair basketball and wheelchair rugby competitions, it said.

Eight of the soldiers who will compete are from Special Operations units, the statement said. They include Master Sgt. George Vera, who will serve as a co-captain of the team. Retired Air Force Tech is the other co-captain.

Representing the Army on the team are:

• Retired Staff Sgt. Ross Alewine

• Retired Capt. Tim Bomke

• Retired Specialist Angela Euson

• Retired Specialist Brent Garlic

• Retired Staff Sgt. Beth King

• Retired Sgt. Chris McGinnis

• Sgt. 1st Class Earl Ohlinger

• Retired Sgt. 1st Class Josh Olsen

• Retired Staff Sgt. Joel Rodriquez

• Retired Staff Sgt. Shawn Runnells

• Retired Specialist Michelle Sanchez

• Retired Capt. Alex Wilson

Other soldiers representing Special Operations units are:

• Sgt. 1st Class Lance Borman

• Specialist Steven Carmen

• Staff Sgt. Travis Dunn

• Staff Sgt. Fred Lewis

• Sgt. Major David Neumer

• Sgt. 1st Class Dawn Page

• Capt. Sean Walsh

Two Fort Bragg soldiers — First Sgt. Jarrid Collins of the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School and Sgt. 1st Class Brant Ireland of the 3rd Special Forces Group — earned medals at last year’s Invictus Games, which were held in Sydney, Australia.

The Invictus Games were founded by the United Kingdom’s Prince Harry, a former captain in the British army, according to the Pentagon statement. The games are based on the concept of the Warrior Games in the United States and are designed to use the power of sport to inspire recovery, support rehabilitation, and generate a wider understanding of, and respect for, those who serve their country and their loved ones, the statement said.

Invictus means unconquered, according to the Invictus Games Foundation website.

“It embodies the fighting spirit of the wounded, injured and sick service personnel and what these tenacious men and women can achieve, post injury,” the website said.


© 2019 The Fayetteville Observer