News 12 First at Five / Thursday, Sept. 20, 2012
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Physical pain is easy to see. For a soldier, bumps, bruises and broken bones are familiar territory, but what lies inside the mind can be even harder to heal.
Along with medals, the soldiers wore confidence, camaraderie and a healthy dose of competition as they vied for gold in an effort to help themselves heal.
"These warriors have not given up. They will continue to fight, continue trying to get better and continue that healing process," said Command Sgt. Major for Warrior Transition Battallion for Fort Gordon Reginald Wade.
It may look like a regular basketball game to you, but each player is a soldier who's battling much more than the opposing team.
"I was that soldier, thought my life was over," said wounded warrior for the Fort Gordon team, Anthony Misuraca.
You could never tell by the looks of him, but Misuraca is still healing after being attacked in Iraq in 2010.
"I was conducting a security patrol in Iraq, and I was shot in the leg by a sniper. It shattered my femur, and I lost about 50 percent of my left thigh muscle," Misuraca said.
"They've served their country well, and now it's time for us to serve them well as they transition on the path of recovery and healing," said CSM Wade.
Fort Benning, Fort Jackson, Fort Stewart and Fort Gordon are the four teams competing, but the games are about more than winning.
For many, it's about never giving up.
"One team, one fight. We are stationed at different installations, but at the end of the day, it's one team, one fight, so we're all in it together," Wade said.
All the while, the soldiers are cultivating friendships that are stronger than the pain of battle.
"It's great to celebrate victories with your teammates. Go out after and have dinner and talk about the guy falling over or the play that should have happened. It's great camaraderie. All those wounded soldiers out there, they just need to push themselves. It's not over. There's always something bigger and better to do. Don't give up," Misuraca said.
Misuraca won eight medals in the games, and Fort Gordon won the overall award for winning the most events.
And Misuraca's not done yet. He'll be competing in the Half Ironman here in Augusta next weekend.