HARRISON COUNTY, W.Va (WDTV) – The 2022 Warrior Games just wrapped up in Orlando.
It is an annual Olympic-style competition hosted by the Department of Defense and celebrates the endurance and dedication of wounded soldiers.
Sergeant major. Matthew Hoalcraft is one of those soldiers.
“A lot of athletes are disabled or injured or sick, service members and veterans, I mean they range from paraplegics and cancer to PTSD, it’s a wide range, so it was great to finally be a part of it because I got to see it. a lot and I was just amazed at the skills of these people,” SSG Matthew Hoalcraft, Warrior Games and Veteran Athlete.
SSG Matthew Hoalcraft of Harrison County had the honor of competing for the Army team in this year’s Warrior Games.
It’s an achievement he’s been trying to achieve since 2019.
“The pandemic hit and they started canceling games for several years in a row, so this year I was able to virtually attend army tryouts and made the team finally and this year we were finally able to have it,” SSG Matthew Hoalcraft, U.S. Games veteran and athlete Warriors.
Hoalcraft was given the title of team captain, although this was his first year competing.
“When it came to our last team meeting when they announced it, I was surprised but definitely honored to accept the challenge they presented,” SSG Matthew Hoalcraft, Veteran and Warrior Games athlete.
Devoting a year of his life to training and taking home a medal.
“I’ve been working on stuff all year. We found out we were part of the team in May and that’s when the real work was put in because the last few months I’ve been training every day after work and it’s definitely been a long road but I’ve put in a lot of work, SSG Matthew Hoalcraft, Warrior Games veteran and athlete.
Hoalcraft competed in 9 of 12 games and walked away with 3 medals.
“Silver in shot put, bronze in discussion, and silver in wheelchair basketball,” SSG Matthew Hoalcraft, Veteran and Warrior Games athlete.
The games also help veterans and active duty service members build lifelong bonds and friendships to continue to support one another.
“Okay, we’re all over the place, but if you find these friendships, you’re going to want to keep them because a lot of these guys are going to be back for the next warrior games, so we want to keep a lot of us intact and in touch with each other that way, we we’re pushing each other, we’re training so that when we come back next time we’ll be even better than we were,” SSG Matthew Hoalcraft, Veteran and Warrior Games athlete.
Team Army was the branch that bought home the most medals with 131.
The games are annual and will continue to be held in Orlando and Sergeant Major Matthew will be in attendance.
“This is what gives us something to look forward to every year and work hard and just because some of us are injured or sick, we’re not depressed, we’re going to keep working hard,” SSG Matthew Hoalcraft, Veteran and Warrior Games Athlete.
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