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Marine athlete receives Pentathlon award

By Aquita Brown | | March 15, 2011

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Athletes, coaches and Wounded Warrior Regiment staff proudly watched Capt. Jon Disbro receive the title Warrior Pentathlete here Feb. 26.

According to Major Susan Stark, Wounded Warrior Regiment Warrior Athlete Reconditioning program director, all pentathlon participants at the Trials and Games must compete in their respective disability category. Separate points are assigned to each athlete based on how they finished in their respective category finals. The winner was the individual at the end of the competition who earned the most points in the five events: 50 meter freestyle swim, 10 meter air rifle shooting, 100 meter run, 1500 meter run, and shot put. 

Disbro and more than 150 other wounded, ill and injured athletes participated in the Marine Corps Trials, a competitive sport setting that provides a forum for the Wounded Warrior Regiment to select 50 athletes as members of the All-Marine Warrior Games team. This year’s Games will be held at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. May 16-21.

Disbro, who joined the Marine Corps in 1992, was “proud to serve as a member in the best military organization in the world,” said Disbro. 

"To be a Marine is to share the heritage and the reputation that the Marine Corps has earned over the years,” said Disbro. “Marines are courageous, disciplined and strong, and are willing to put everything on the line to protect their country."

Disbro is one of the many service members who have accepted the sacrifice that few have made.  While on his second tour to Iraq, Disbro and his unit were protecting a power plant in Iskandariyah, when a round landed on their position and pieces of shrapnel tore through Disbro’s right ankle. 

He was immediately sent to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany and later to the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. After six months and numerous surgeries, he and his medical team decided his foot was too damaged to save; Disbro chose to receive a right transtibial (lower leg amputation).

Regaining his ability to walk, run, jump and swim has not been an easy undertaking. Since being injured, Disbro has been training fiercely, competing in the 2010 Warrior Games, Devil Dog Duathlon at Camp Pendleton, Calif., and running the Big Sur Marathon. 

At last year’s Warrior Games, Disbro brought home the gold in the 1,500-meter dash.  He participated in the Ultimate Champion category, a pentathlon style event which consisted of five events:  50 meter freestyle swim, 10 meter air rifle shooting, 100 meter run, 1500 meter run, and shot put. 

A chance to compete never scared Disbro, who took on the rigorous physical challenge of participating in the Inaugural Marine Corps Trials in the Warrior Pentathlon event. This was just another goal for Disbro to achieve. Disbro successfully earned this title by placing first in the 10m air rifle prone, first in cycling, first in shout put, second in the 100m sprint and 5th in the 50m freestyle swim.

“Disbro has worked extremely hard to prepare for this event,” said Sam Tickle, Wounded Warrior Regiment, Warrior Athlete Reconditioning program director of personnel and events.  “He has always been a modest person and he truly deserves the title Warrior Penathlete.”

Disbro doesn’t want to stop there. At the 2011 Warrior Games Disbro and 49 other Marine athletes will go head to head with service members from Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard. Disbro will compete for his chance to be named the “Ultimate Champion.”

“Competing in last year’s Games was an exciting and rewarding experience,” said Disbro.  “I’m looking forward to competing in this year’s Warrior Games and taking on the competition.”

According to the U.S. Paralympics the Warrior Games are designed to elevate abilities through athletic competition for WII service members by providing a focal event to empower the incorporation of athletics into Military Service Wounded Warrior Programs. The Warrior Games will be an annual event to celebrate the achievement and abilities of WII service members, while building camaraderie and raising awareness for adaptive sports. 

Established in 2007, the Marine Corps Wounded Warrior Regiment was created to provide and facilitate non-medical care to combat and non-combat wounded, ill, and injured Marines, and sailors attached to or in direct support of Marine units and their family members in order to assist them as they return to duty or transition to civilian life. The Regimental Headquarters element, located in Quantico, Va., commands the operations of two Wounded Warrior Battalions located at Camp Pendleton, Calif., and Camp Lejeune, N.C., and multiple detachments in locations around the globe. 

For more information about the Wounded Warrior Regiment or the 2011 Warrior Games, go to: www.woundedwarriorregiment.org or call the Sgt. Merlin German Wounded Warrior Call Center 24/7 at (877) 487-6299.

Marines and Marine veterans who are interested in participating in Warrior Athlete Reconditioning program training camps or next year’s Marine Corps Trials should contact the WAR program staff at WWSports@usmc.mil.


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