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

Army Wounded Warrior perseveres despite COVID-19

Image of Picture of military personnel wearing a face mask and shooting a bow and arrow. Click to open a larger version of the image. 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 | Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine

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...

Air Force Invisible Wounds Initiative helps build a supportive culture

Article
2/4/2022
Invisible Wounds Initiative

Late last year, the Air Force launched Invisible Wounds Initiative Command Team Campaign

Recommended Content:

Warrior Care

Do You Have COVID-19? Influenza? Or is it RSV? Here’s What to Look For

Article
1/24/2022
Military personnel preparing a COVID-19 test sample for processing

Knowing the symptoms of COVID-19/RSV/Flu will help your medical treatment

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Seasonal Influenza Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus

Medical Leaders Address COVID-19 Concerns During Family Forum

Article
1/21/2022
Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Jemuel Macabali, from San Diego, Calif., gives the COVID-19 vaccine to staff at Camp Lemonnier, in Djibouti, Aug. 13, 2021.

Top health leaders talk about the recent spike in COVID-19 infections and the impact on the military community.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Critically ill COVID Patient Delivers Baby While on Heart-Lung Bypass

Article
1/11/2022
Retired U.S. Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. Carlos Hernandez and his wife, Ashley, take a family portrait with their six children. Ashley is BAMC’s first patient to give birth while on Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation.

Hernandez, a Marine Corps spouse and mother of five, is BAMC’s first patient to give birth while on Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation.

Recommended Content:

Women's Health | Coronavirus

Development of WRAIR’s Pan-Coronavirus Vaccine Shows Promise

Article
12/28/2021
A vial of spike ferritin nanoparticle WRAIR's COVID-19 vaccine

Series of preclinical studies supports the Army’s pan-coronavirus vaccine development strategy

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Immunization Experts are Central to COVID-19 Vaccine Program

Article
12/20/2021
Medical director at Fort Riley, Kansas receives a COVID-19 vaccination In his left arm from a tech in personal protective equipment.

Immunization Health Division at forefront of COVID-19 vaccinations.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine

Military Health System Marks 1-Year Anniversary for COVID Vaccinations

Article
12/14/2021
FEmale Marine gets COVID 19 vaccination in left  arm at Camp LeJeune in December 2020

More than 6.4 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered a year after first shots within MHS.

Recommended Content:

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

Ft. Belvoir Leaders Learn to Row Learn More About MASP

Article
12/10/2021
Military personnel participating in adaptive sports

Fort Belvoir Soldier Recovery Unit Command team joins MASP for a rowing clinic in Washington D.C. to experience benefits of adaptive sports firsthand.

Recommended Content:

Warrior Care

Caregiver Wife’s Support Instrumental to Wounded Warrior’s Recovery

Article
11/30/2021
Retired Air Force Tech Sgt. Eric Heldman staying active

Eric and Crystal Heideman are not just husband and wife, but life partners navigating life as a wounded warrior and his full-time caregiver with resilience, will, and above all, love for one another.

Recommended Content:

Warrior Care

Meet the Matriarch of Wounded Warrior Caregivers at Walter Reed

Article
11/30/2021
Service members transporting a severely wounded soldier

For worried caregivers at Walter Reed Bethesda, Linda Rasnake is a positive force of nature.

Recommended Content:

Warrior Care

Wounded Warriors and Caregivers Online Resources

Article
11/29/2021
Airmen race for a loose ball during an Air Force Wounded Warrior basketball game

The Defense Department programs listed here are staffed with nearly 800 recovery care coordinators and case managers who are standing by to respond to individual queries.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Warrior Care

Mental Stress is like a ‘Check Engine Light’ Flashing–Don’t Ignore It

Article
11/29/2021
Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Jason David talks about his  journey of recovery through the Air Force Wounded Warrior Program during a video conversation with Defense Health Agency Command Sgt. Major Michael Gragg.

Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Jason David speaks about his own journey of recovery through the Air Force Wounded Warrior Program.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Warrior Care | Warrior Care – A Virtual Show of Strength | Psychological Fitness

For Many Wounded Warriors, Not All Damage is Visible or Combat-Related

Article
11/23/2021
A picture of Alex and Allison Pate

For Air Force Staff Sgt. Alex Pate’s wife, Allison, being a caregiver to a wounded warrior has been a series of emotions, but she’s grateful for the support they’ve received along the road to his recovery.

Recommended Content:

Warrior Care

For Wounded Warriors, Adaptive Sports Bring Camaraderie and Confidence

Article
11/19/2021
Military personnel with their service dogs during swim practice

At the Wounded Warrior level, sports that can be adapted to accommodate disabilities are literally saving lives. And the sports and other adaptive activities are getting more widespread and popular each year.

Recommended Content:

Warrior Care

MHS Reaches 6 Million Doses of Vaccine Against COVID

Article
11/10/2021
Airmen of the 139th Airlift Wing, Missouri Air National Guard, receive COVID-19 immunizations as a part of the federal mandate at Rosecrans Air National Guard Base, St. Joseph, Missouri, Oct. 2, 2021. The 139th Medical Group oversees the operation. .

Military passes 6 million mark for COVID-19 shots administered across the Military Health System.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Getting the COVID-19 Vaccine | COVID-19 Information for Military Treatment Facility Directors
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 16 - 30 Page 2 of 24

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.