Hawaii Wounded Warrior champ heads to DOD games

| June 19, 2015 | 0 Comments
Army National Guard Capt. Steven Bortle of the TAMC WTB swims laps at Fort Belvoir,Virginia, in preparation for the 2015 DOD Warrior Games, which are scheduled for June 19-28 at Marine Corps Base, Quantico, Virginia. Bortle represents Team Army in the games. (courtesy photos)

Army National Guard Capt. Steven Bortle of the TAMC WTB swims laps at Fort Belvoir,Virginia, in preparation for the 2015 DOD Warrior Games, which are scheduled for June 19-28 at Marine Corps Base, Quantico, Virginia. Bortle represents Team Army in the games. (courtesy photos)

1st Lt. Aubrey Boswell
Warrior Transition Battalion-Hawaii
HONOLULU — Since 2010, approximately 200 wounded, ill and injured service members and veterans have competed annually at the Department of Defense (DOD) Warrior Games, a unique partnership between DOD and the U.S. Olympic Committee Paralympic Military Program.

This year, Capt. Steven Bortle, a signal officer and Soldier in transition (ST), will represent Hawaii and the Army at DOD’s Warrior Games 2015, which take place June 19-28 in Quantico, Virginia.

A decorated combat veteran, Bortle never pictured his Army career ending as an ST. However, throughout his transition, Bortle has strived to transplant his warrior spirit from the battlefield to the athletic field.

 Army National Guard Capt. Steven Bortle of the TAMC WTB trains at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, for the 2015 DOD Warrior Games, recently.


Army National Guard Capt. Steven Bortle of the TAMC WTB trains for the 2015 DOD Warrior Games, recently.

He received his first opportunity to compete in the Army Trials, March 29-April 2, at Fort Bliss, Texas. The Army Trials are the precursor for athletes wishing to represent the Army at the DOD Warrior Games. An avid triathlete since 2006, Bortle competed in a 30-kilometer cycling time trial, the 100-meters freestyle, the 50-meters breast stroke, the 50-meters free relay, and multiple track and field events, to include the 1,500-meters, 400-meters and 200-meters races.

“It’s an awesome experience,” said Bortle. “I feel so lucky (to have the chance to compete). It’s inspirational to compete with Soldiers who have been blown up and lost limbs (in combat). It makes what I’ve had to go through seem less complex and less overwhelming than their experiences.”

The results of Bortle’s performance at the Army Trials were nothing less than outstanding. He earned three bronze medals and placed in the top 10 for every event he competed in.

He waited anxiously for word of his selection to represent the Army. A few weeks later, the call came; he would compete at the Warrior Games for the Army.

Bortle learned he had been selected to compete in at least one swimming, track and cycling event. Bortle’s excitement grew knowing he would also be representing Hawaii and Tripler Army Medical Center’s Warrior Transition Battalion at the games.

 Capt. Steven Bortle will be one of 40 Army participants at the upcoming DOD Warrior Games. The DOD Warrior Games take place June 19-28 at the Marine Corps Base in Quantico, Virginia, and Bortle is one of more than 40 athletes representing Team Army.


Capt. Steven Bortle will be one of 40 Army participants at the upcoming DOD Warrior Games. The DOD Warrior Games take place June 19-28 at the Marine Corps Base in Quantico, Virginia, and Bortle is one of more than 40 athletes representing Team Army.

“Some people may never get this opportunity,” remarked Bortle. “They may be faster and stronger (than I), but because of their transition timeline, this was unavailable to them. I’m humbled to have this experience.”

Bortle continues to train with his triathlon training group three times a week as he conducts pool and track workouts. Bortle hopes these workouts will elevate his performance at the 2015 DOD Warrior Games and improve on his 3rd place finishes from the Army Trials.

“We are incredibly proud of his determination,” said Lt. Col. Brian Peterson, commander of the Warrior Transition Battalion. “I think he will do very well at the Warrior Games, especially with all of Army-Hawaii cheering him on,” added Peterson.
(Note: Jim “Goose” Guzior, TAMC Public Affairs, contributed to this article.)

Watch Online
A livestream of events will be available at http://defensetv.tv. Fans of the Warrior Games can also follow via Facebook at www.face book.com/warriorgames or on Twitter with the handle #WarriorGames.

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Category: Community, Wounded Warriors

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