By MC1 Chris Fahey, NMCB 3
BU3 Daniel Dejesus, NMCB 3, helps a competitor unload his belongings during the 2014 Warrior Games in Colorado Springs, Colo., Oct. 2. Four Seabees clocked more than 800 miles providing around-the-clock shuttle service for 83 athletes and four service dogs. Photo by MC1 Chris Fahey
Four Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 3 stepped up as clutch volunteer shuttle drivers during the 2014 Warrior Games, Colorado Springs, Colo., Sept. 28 - Oct. 4.
According to Megan Haydel, Navy Wounded Warrior Safe Harbor adaptive athletics staff member, the end of the fiscal year prevented the local Navy Operations Support Center from providing the needed manpower. So, NMCB 3 volunteered some Can Do spirit.
They graciously provided four Seabees to support us, said Haydel. Without their help, we would have had a hard time pulling [this year s Warrior Games] off.
The volunteer Seabees clocked 835 miles during around-the-clock shuttle service, transporting 83 athletes and four service dogs to training venues, competition sites, hotels and airport. The Seabees punctuality, safe driving and efficiency ensured competitors received enough rest between events and any special needs were met.
During the shuttle rides and at events, NMCB 3 volunteers interacted with the athletes, discussing their disabilities and the Warrior Games. No strangers to combat, some Seabees spend their entire careers in dangerous areas of the world. Getting to know the competitors allowed NMCB 3 s volunteers to better understand those moments of impact experienced by the athletes and realize the strength embodied in their hearts and minds.
Nothing is more inspirational than seeing our nation s heroes stare in the eyes of their disabilities and say, You can t hold me back, said NMCB 3 Construction Mechanic 2nd Class Paul Tersteege. "No matter what has been taken away from these amazing people, it s impossible to take away their motivation, their dedication to their service, and their drive to blow past the next obstacle that stands in their way pure astonishment.
Seabees took this inspiration and astonishment to the stands, serving as a four-person cheer force to help reciprocate the emotional investment athletes demonstrated during the games.
If you attended any team sport in the evening, said Haydel, the Seabees were in the stands, leading the charge, cheering on the team. They were not just duty drivers, they were full team supporters."
More than 200 wounded, ill, and injured service members and veterans participated in seven sports archery, cycling, shooting, sitting volleyball, swimming, track and field, and wheelchair basketball. Athletes represented the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force and Special Operations.
Of those 200, 39 athletes represented Team Navy, bringing home 28 total medals, including 12 gold medals.
The Naval Construction Force (NCF) is a vital component of the U.S. Maritime Strategy. The NCF s deployable battalions provide disaster preparation and recovery support, humanitarian assistance and combat operations support.
NMCB 3 provides combatant commanders and Navy component commanders with combat-ready warfighters capable of general engineering, construction and limited combat engineering across the full range of military operations.