Soldier says you’re not less of a person for landing in a WTU
By MaryTherese Griffin, Warrior Care and Transition
ARLINGTON, Va. – No one who joins the Army plans to get injured and assigned to a Warrior Transition Unit. However, injuries happen and WTUs are there to help, just as U.S. Army Pfc. Joshua Berry learned after a few short years as a Soldier.
“I joined the Army because I wasn’t happy with the increase in terrorist acts being committed around the world. I always have the ‘if not me, then who?’ mindset and imagining my grandparents or loved ones facing off with those kinds of monsters in the world … it made me uncomfortable,” said Berry on why he joined the Army. However, his plans for his Army career were derailed as the Hagerstown, Indiana native had one thing after another preventing him from being combat ready.
“While deployed [with] NATO allies for Operation Atlantic Resolve, I tore a ligament on the left side of my collarbone while lifting a truck’s gun mount in Latvia on April 30, 2017,” said Berry of his first significant injury. His health issues would compound with an esophagus tear from violent vomiting due to water contamination followed by an eight foot fall from a tank in March of 2018 that shattered his kneecap and the remainder of his Army career plans.
Berry has spent the last six months at the Warrior Transition Unit at Fort Carson, Colorado going through physical therapy and getting involved with adaptive reconditioning events.
He has embraced life and the process at the WTU and does not see himself as broken or any less of a person, something he encourages any new Soldier at the WTU to do.
“You have to let go of any of the anger or disappointment you’ve had from your injuries. Give the staff at the WTU a chance. You’re not less of a person for landing in this unit. You’re here for a reason and that reason is to heal and get back to action or get ready for the next stage of your life!”
Berry is currently training for the 2019 Army Trials next month at Fort Bliss, Texas March 5 – 16 where he will compete in wheelchair basketball, archery, seated volleyball and air rifle. His goal is to earn a spot on Team Army and compete at the Department of Defense Warrior Games this summer in Tampa, Florida June 21 – 30.
Berry knows he may not be able to return to duty, and if that is the case, he plans to return home to Indiana and pursue a medical degree as an x-ray technician. Either way, Berry sees a bright future ahead for himself, and he thanks the Fort Carson WTU for that.
DISCLAIMER: This article was originally published at the Defense Video Imagery Distribution System Hub (www.didvshub.net). The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.
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