Wounded Warrior Competes in Paralympics
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Wounded Warrior Competes in Paralympics

January 21, 2020


20 VETERANS AND ACTIVE DUTY SERVICEMEMBERS
ARE PART OF THE 2012 AMERICAN PARALYMPIC TEAM. ONE OF THOSE ATHLETES IS SWIMMER, LIEUTENANT
BRAD SNYDER. SNYDER LOST HIS EYES WHEN HE STEPPED ON AN I-E-D IN AFGHANISTAN LAST SEPTEMBER.
THE BLAST MAY HAVE LEFT HIM BLIND, BUT SNYDER WILL BE VISUALIZING GOLD AS HE RACES. SNYDER
DESCRIBES WHAT INSPIRES HIM. FROM THE MOMENT YOU START IN THE NAVY EVERYONE
IS REALLY HITTING HOME MOTIVATION AND DEDICATION AND ALL THESE CORE VALUES THAT YOU DON’T REALLY
UNDERSTAND AT THE TIME BUT OVER THE COURSE OF A CAREER YOU START TO UNDERSTAND THEM REALLY
WELL AND TAKING AWAY MY EYESIGHT DIDNT CHANGE ANY OF THAT. THE DECISION TO MOVE FORWARD
WAS EASY, IT WAS JUST A SPLIT INSTANT. I CAN STILL DO ALL HE THINGS I USED TO DO I JUST
HAVE TO DO THEM WITH MY EYES CLOSED NOW. MY AFFILIATION WITH THE PARALYMPICS NOW HAS SHOWN
ME A LOT OF INSPIRATIONAL STORIES. A LOT OF PEOPLE PUTTING UP WITH ADVERSITY AND NOT MAKING
THAT AN EXCUSE. AND GETTING OUT THERE AND SEEKING SUCCESS IN OTHER AVENUES AND THATS
TRULY INSPIRING TO ME. HE ALSO TALKED ABOUT HOW HIS NAVY TRAINING
PREPARED HIM TO TAKE ON THE CHALLENGES OF BEING BLIND. ITS FUNNY BECAUSE THERE ARE DIRECT PARALLELS,
I WAS A DIVER FOR SIX YEARS AND SAY 90 PERCENT OF THE DIVING I WAS DOING WAS NOT GLAMOROUS
DIVING IT WAS IN THE MUCKY WATERS OF VIRGINIA BEACH WHERE YOU CAN’T SEE ANYTHING SO IVE
HAD TO PRACTICE TYING KNOTS AND DRAGGING UP THINGS AND FINDING MY GEAR AND NAVIGATING
WITH OUT BEING ABLE TO SEE SO ITS A DIRECT PARALLEL TO WHAT ITS LIKE NOW AND SO IT WASN’T
THAT UNFAMILIAR. THE ONLY DOWN SIDE TO BLINDNESS NOW IS THAT YOU CAN’T GO UP TO THE SURFACE
AND START SEEING AGAIN BUT AT THE SAME TIME THIS IS NOT THE FIRST TIME I’VE HAD TO NAVIGATE
BLIND SO I WAS PREPARED PRETTY WELL COINCIDENTALLY. LIEUTENANT BRAD SNYDER WILL SWIM HIS FIRST
RACE IN LONDON SEPTEMBER 7TH, EXACTLY A YEAR FROM THE DAY HE LOST HIS VISION FROM THE EXPLOSIVE
BLAST. FROM DEFENSE MEDIA ACTIVITY, I’M PETTY OFFICER AMARA TIMBERLAKE.

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