Warrior Games help sailor heal

ByJesse Kirsch via WLS logo
Friday, June 30, 2017
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Archery requires focus and poise. From afar, Roel Espino looks like he?s mastered both?swiftly releasing his arrow.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Archery requires focus and poise. From afar, Roel Espino looks like he's mastered both-swiftly releasing his arrow during DoD Warrior Games practice at Chicago's McCormick Place.

But the retired sailor faces injuries we cannot see as he looks downrange.

"There was a lot I didn't know. A lot I didn't know to handle," Espino recalled.

This challenge came after a pair of concussions ended his naval career as a hospital corpsman second class.

Espino then came to the Navy Wounded Warrior Safe Harbor, which supports "seriously wounded, ill and injured Sailors and Coast Guardsmen." But he didn't know where he'd fit in there.

"I didn't really think I applied to adaptive sports because I didn't really look injured on the outside," Espino explained.

But he's embraced archery since then, finding a new community.

"Sports has helped me a lot by networking me with people with similar ailments as me... the experience that they have and share with me, I'm able to apply it to myself," Espino said.

Competing in his second DoD Warrior Games this year, Espino has his eyes on a new bullseye: the 2020 Olympic Games.

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