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White: Archery techniques helped in his TBI recovery

Sunday, July 01, 2012

The techniques of retired Staff Sgt. Jesse White and other Army archers helped them earn four silver medals in the 2012 Warrior Games at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo.

"I literally have a sequence of about 20 things I do every time I settle in for the shot. It’s to make sure my body and mind is relaxed and ready to go," White said.

White teamed with Ben Trescott and Justin Steele to earn silver for the Army in the compound bow team competition, while Fred Prince earned an individual silver medal.

Curtis Winston, Kinga Kiss-Johnson and Al Louangketh received silver medals for the Army’s recurve archery team, and Kiss-Johnson took second place individually.

"I’m very proud of these guys," the Army archery coach, Steven Coleman, said. "You can see in their faces and the scores today that they have put in the time and dedication."

Coleman said the archers have not allowed their injuries or illnesses to stop them from competing.

White is also currently competing for a spot on the archery team for the Paralympics.

"Once this is over, I go shoot in July at the National Field Archery Association U.S. Nationals Outdoor Tournament. I’ve already met the military requirement, so it is a matter of hitting the events," White said.

The recently retired staff sergeant served 18 years, and when he was in Iraq as a wheeled vehicle mechanic, he was wounded by an improvised explosive device.

His right ankle was rebuilt four times, making his right leg is an inch and half shorter than his left because of the bones they had to remove, and causing problems with his hip and back.

He also had surgery on his neck due to two compressed disks.

White’s competitive spirit has helped him deal with the mental side effects of his injuries.

Archery is one of White’s favorite sports because he said it is very calming for him.

Coleman said the repetitive nature of archery and the ability to train on their own has helped not only White, but all of the team members to recover from their injuries and illnesses.

White’s love of archery, and the Army’s recognition and advances in treating traumatic brain injury, has helped him.

"When I was first injured [Traumatic Brain Injury] wasn’t an issue; they didn’t have the care in place." White said.

Adding, "Now, the electronic equipment the Army has come up with and the different things that are available are phenomenal."

For more information regarding the 2012 Wounded Warrior Games please visit:

http://www2.teamusa.org/US-Paralympics/Military/Warrior-Games-presented-.... (ANS)