99th FSS leads charge during wounded warrior trials

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Rachel Loftis
  • 99th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
The 99th Force Support Squadron transformed the Warrior Fitness Center's facilities for the second consecutive year into a bustling adaptive sports competition for roughly 100 wounded warriors known as the 2015 Air Force Trials, which took place here Feb. 27 through March 5.

"The amount of support we get from the whole base is amazing." said Larry Bridges, 99th Force Support Squadron, sports director. "This event is a Nellis family effort; we have places such as civil engineering, Outdoor Recreation, protocol and many more all making an effort to provide wounded warriors with the support they need."

Col. Richard Boutwell, 99th Air Base Wing commander, said moving forward in the recovery process to foster a climate of dignity and respect is one of the 99th's priorities.

"Hosting the trials is a tremendous opportunity for us," said Boutwell. "Hosting these games gives us the opportunity to help theses warriors maintain their dignity. If you've ever seen them compete, they certainly deserve our utmost respect."

In preparation for the trials, the 99th FSS reached out to several locations on and off Nellis AFB such as Outdoor Recreation, the 99th Security Forces Squadron, and the University of Nevada Las Vegas during the planning and execution of the events. 

"It takes a lot to put this together, communicating and getting things from generators to tents and tables and all of that which seem like little things is actually something huge." said 1st Lt. Liza Flint, 99th FSS unit fitness program manager.

After months of preparation, wounded warriors gathered at the Nellis AFB football field Feb. 27 to celebrate the opening ceremony of the trials.

The 99th FSS is supporting approximately 100 athletes, 40 staff and coaches and uses the skills of approximately 200 volunteers. 

"This is a rewarding experience, knowing that you are helping people in the recovery process," said Flint. "Sports [for the Air Force's Warrior Care Program] are the foundation for getting over whatever [an individual's] specific injuries or illnesses are, whether they're physical or mental."

Bridges said, with help of the Nellis AFB Airmen, volunteers and the Las Vegas community, the trials are able to serve their purpose of aiding in the recovery of wounded warriors from the U.S., Australia and Great Britain.

"You can't do something like this event and not have it change your life," said Bridges. "I made it a personal goal of mine when they first came four years ago to make sure they came back to Nellis."