COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. --
The Marine Corps teams competing at the inaugural Warrior Games here have a wealth of coaching knowledge available to their athletes. But the Marines on the shooting team have an unusual pair of coaches at their disposal.
Sgt. Mark Windmassenger and his wife, Sgt. Emily Windmassenger, are coaching the Marine shooters in the games. Both coaches are accomplished marksmen on the All-Marine shooting team in Quantico, Va.
“I absolutely love training Marines,” said Mark, a 25-year old Quakertown, Pa., native. “Training the wounded warriors is the most rewarding thing I have done since I’ve been on the shooting team. They are extremely motivated, and are willing to train harder than most.”
Emily, 23, agrees with her husband. “The feeling I get from watching these athletes overcome their struggles and disabilities and execute what I’m teaching them gives me more pleasure than improving my own skills,” the Loves Park, Ill., native said.
Both coaches have been on active duty since 2005. In 2007, they met and married while they were finance clerks before qualifying for the marksmanship team.
Shooting is one of their passions, and they are ecstatic to be sharing it together.
“It’s great that we’re getting to do something that we both love so much and are so passionate about,” Mark said. “I think the athletes are also getting a good deal out of it, because she and I work so well as coaches together.”
Twenty Marine shooters will compete in both air rifle and air pistol events during the Warrior Games. The games feature some-200 wounded service members and veterans competing in a variety of Paralympic-style events while representing their respective services.