Back to Top Skip to main content Skip to sub-navigation

Army Wounded Warrior perseveres despite COVID-19

Picture of military personnel wearing a face mask and shooting a bow and arrow Army Staff Sgt. Gene Calantoc, a member of the Soldier Recovery Unit at Brooke Army Medical Center, prepares to loose an arrow during the Virtual Army Trials archery event held at Buck and Doe’s Mercantile in San Antonio, Texas, March 10, 2021. Calantoc is one of several Soldiers at the SRU competing to be selected to represent Team Army in the 2021 DoD Warrior Games (Photo by: Daniel J. Calderón, Brooke Army Medical Center).

Recommended Content:

Warrior Care | Coronavirus | MHS Toolkits and Branding Guidance | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit

The COVID-19 pandemic introduced changes and challenges that continue to affect the way of life for everyone. Through perseverance, the Army is using innovative ways to deal with the "new normal."

One group in particular that are making the adjustment are wounded, ill, and injured service members in Soldier Recovery Units across the Army. The month of March typically finds some of them preparing to gather at Fort Bliss, Texas, to participate in the Army Trials. However, this year the Army Recovery Care Program, keeping safety paramount for participants and staff, executed the Trials virtually.

For soldiers like Army Staff Sgt. Gene Calantoc, the pandemic added an extra challenge to an already daunting one. Calantoc, assigned to the Brooke Army Medical Center SRU, is approaching the one-year anniversary of an accident that changed his life.

One of his hobbies is riding a motorcycle. "My accident happened on March 29, 2020 at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri," said Calantoc. "I set up a group ride that day with my motorcycle organization.' Six of us went for a ride that day. I was the road captain and leading our group when we approached a route that had a very steep hill where I got hit by a truck." This led to an above-the-knee amputation of his left leg.

Born in the Philippines, his family moved to Hawaii and then to San Diego when he was 13 years old. Joining the Army was a life-long dream of his because of the influence of his uncle who served in the Philippine military.

"I've been in the Army for nine years as a 12N (Horizontal Heavy Equipment Operator)," said Calantoc. "I chose to be an engineer because that MOS (Military Occupational Specialty) interested me."

Calantoc said he likes staying busy, and he has proved that by participating in every event the Trials have to offer. "I heard about the Warrior Games at the CFI (Center for the Intrepid)," he explained. The CFI is where Calantoc was fitted for his prosthetic and is currently undergoing rehab. "I have always been an active person and I love to compete. My motivation to participate (in the Army Trials) was knowing that this is a good opportunity to get my foot in the competition."

Competing in the Army Trials is tough enough, but when you have to do it virtually, it adds a new dimension of change. Athletes do not physically meet with the other competitors and develop a "team camaraderie," which is an extreme motivating factor they use to push themselves to their limits.

For Calantoc, a first time Trials competitor, his focus has been on something different; something soldiers, particularly noncommissioned officers are used to. "The challenging aspect competing virtually is not receiving enough training before the trials," he explained.

The ARCP looks at their overall mission to help those assigned in SRUs to recover and overcome barriers, and aids them either back to their unit, or to transition into civilian life.

"Adaptive reconditioning and sports has helped me with overall rehab by physically and mentally keeping myself busy to prevent myself from feeling any pain," added Calantoc. "Participating in the Virtual Trials helps me overcome some of my pains during the day. My goal is to make it to the Army team."

There are countless examples of wounded, ill, and injured soldiers and veterans who have participated in the Army Trials who found themselves in a more positive place. Adaptive reconditioning and sports, to include these types of events, can be life changing. This can be priceless in times of an ongoing pandemic.

"What I would say to the person who might be considering adaptive reconditioning or participating in the Army Trials is to have fun and enjoy the opportunity to participate in the trials," he said.

You also may be interested in...

After the ventilator COVID survivor advocates for vaccine

Article Around MHS
9/15/2021
Tim Harris is sedated while on a ventilator

Tim Harris, a mobilization and planning specialist, U.S. Army Medical Center of Excellence, is sedated while on a ventilator at Brooke Army Medical Center, Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas, June 27, 2020.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Army Medicine Europe Provides Additional COVID Vaccinations for Immune Compromised

Article Around MHS
9/13/2021
Franz Dietrich, a German local national assigned to Training Support Activity Europe, receives a COVID-19 vaccination at the 7th Army Training Command's (7ATC) Rose Barracks, Vilseck, Germany, May 4, 2021. The U.S. Army Health Clinics at Grafenwoehr and Vilseck conducted a "One Community" COVID-19 vaccine drive May 3-7 to provide thousands of appointments to the 7ATC community of Soldiers, spouses, Department of the Army civilians, veterans and local nationals employed by the U.S. Army. (U.S. Army photo by Markus Rauchenberger)

Army medical treatment facilities in Europe are now offering an additional dose of COVID vaccine for immune compromised beneficiaries.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

The COVID-19 Pandemic: How Health Care Workers are Coping

Article
9/13/2021
a nurse helping a COVID-19 patient

For health care providers, experiencing the pandemic inside a hospital has brought

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Military Health Podcasts

Increased COVID Restrictions on the Pentagon Reservation

Article
9/8/2021
Military personnel wearing a face mask

Due to the increase in COVID-19 cases and positive test cases in the National Capital Region, the Pentagon Reservation will move to Health Protection Condition Bravo Plus (Bravo+)

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus

Digital health innovation emerges during COVID-19 pandemic

Article
8/31/2021
The Defense Health Agency’s Connected Health Branch was there to support, advise and deliver new health innovations throughout the pandemic. (Graphic courtesy of DHA Connected Health)

The DHA's Connected Health Branch was there to support, advise, and deliver new health innovations throughout the pandemic.

Recommended Content:

Connected Health | Coronavirus

As Fitness Tests Resume, Troops Seek Post-COVID Exercise Routines

Article
8/31/2021
Military personnel physically training

Keeping fit during pandemic proves hard for some.

Recommended Content:

Total Body Preventive Health and Total Force Fitness | Total Force Fitness | Physical Fitness | Coronavirus

COVID-19 Booster Shots

Infographic
8/27/2021
If you have an immune system that is moderately to severely compromised, the CDC recommends you may receive an additional dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna). This would be at least 4 weeks after your second dose.

If you have an immune system that is moderately to severely compromised, the CDC recommends you may receive an additional dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna). This would be at least 4 weeks after your second dose.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Vaccine Eligibility | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Secretary of Defense Mandates COVID-19 Vaccinations for Service Members

Article
8/26/2021
An Army medic administers the COVID-19 vaccine to another soldier.

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III yesterday issued a memorandum directing mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations for service members.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

DOD Intends to Mandate Pfizer Vaccine, Pentagon Official Says

Article
8/25/2021
Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby holds a press briefing, at the Pentagon, Washington, D.C.

Kirby said the health of DOD's military and civilian employees, families and communities is a top priority.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Maintaining Mission Readiness During a Pandemic

Article
8/24/2021
Gen. Place presents at HIMSS in Las Vegas.

DHA Director Army Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Ronald Place discussed the national security implications of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Heroes Behind the Mask | Deployment Health

CSM Gragg Vaccine Statement

Video
8/24/2021
CSM Gragg speaks about COVID-19

CSM Gragg shares his personal story dealing with COVID and the loss associated with it and urges all to take precautions.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus | Getting the COVID-19 Vaccine

LTG Place on Vaccine Importance

Video
8/17/2021
LTG Place on Vaccine Importance

LTG Place presents his concerns over those who are still unvaccinated during these unprecedented times. Take the right steps to prevent tragedy befalling your family and schedule your vaccine today at https://tricare.mil/vaccineappointments.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Getting the COVID-19 Vaccine

Reform, COVID-19 Have Been Catalysts for Change in Military Medicine

Article
8/16/2021
Dr. Terry Adirim speaking to an audience at a conference

Healthcare is about taking care of people, so no amount of change or innovation is ever sufficient if modernization does not lead to helping patients, says acting ASDHA at HIMSS21 in Las Vegas.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Military Health System Transformation

Got Your 6: August 16, 2021

Video
8/16/2021
Got Your 6: August 16, 2021

‘Got Your 6’ is TRICARE’s COVID vaccine video series that delivers important information and updates, on days that end in ‘6.’ It includes the latest information about DOD vaccine distribution, the TRICARE health benefit, and vaccine availability. Got a question about ‘Got Your 6’? Send an email to dha.ncr.comm.mbx.dha-internal-communications@mail.mil Find your local military provider at tricare.mil/MTF, or go to tricare.mil/vaccineappointments and schedule yours today!

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Getting the COVID-19 Vaccine

Lt. Gen. Place and Command Sgt. Maj. Gragg on Getting Vaccinated

Video
8/16/2021
DHA Logo with the text: Importance of Vaccinations Lt. Gen. Ronald J. Place & Command Sgt. Maj. Michael L. Gragg

DHA Director Lt. Gen. Ron Place and DHA Senior Enlisted Leader Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Gragg talk about how getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is more important than ever.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Coronavirus | Getting the COVID-19 Vaccine
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 49

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.