U.S. Navy Diver, Chief Petty Officer Julius McManus, a 1993 graduate of Delton Kellogg High School in Delton, Michigan, who currently resides in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida will join more than 250 seriously wounded, ill and injured service members and veterans at the 2018 Department of Defense (DOD) Warrior Games June 1 - 9 at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

McManus will be competing against athletes from the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Coast Guard, Air Force, Special Operations Command (SOCOM), Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom.

“Participating in the Warrior Games has re-kindled my desire for competition and has helped me to remember that I am more than my injuries,” said McManus. “Learning how to compete using adaptive equipment has reinforced that I am still capable of accomplishing great things and giving back to my country, my community, and my sailors.”

During the nine days of competition McManus will compete in shooting, track, cycling and swimming.

"Our Navy Wounded Warrior athletes have shown incredible resiliency in their personal roads to recovery through Commander, Navy Installations Command (CNIC)'s Adaptive Sports Program. The actions of these athletes demonstrate the Navy’s core attributes of integrity, accountability, initiative and toughness," said Vice Adm. Mary Jackson, Commander, Navy Installations Command.

The Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) has said that we will remain the world's finest Navy only if we all fight each and every minute to get better', there is no better example of this performance than what our sailors and Coast Guardsmen in the Navy Wounded Warrior Program do each and every day."

McManus was selected for team Navy after the competitive Wounded Warrior Trials in February at Naval Station Mayport in Mayport, Florida. Team Navy includes service members and veterans with upper-body, lower-body, and spinal cord injuries; traumatic brain injuries; visual impairment; serious illnesses; and post-traumatic stress.

“Adaptive sports has helped me heal by providing a sense of purpose, comradery, and a family of brothers and sisters who help me feel normal,” said McManus. “As a former athlete who fell into a dark depression and was contemplating ways to terminate existence, participation in the adaptive sports program showed me that I was not alone and that there are still ways to feel alive beyond the pain.”

These games provide an opportunity for athletes to grow physically, mentally and spiritually from the sportsmanship and camaraderie gained by representing their respective service teams in a friendly and spirited competition. It is an opportunity for athletes to showcase their enduring warrior spirit in the presence of their families and grateful nation.

“The coaches have given me the tools to become an athlete and competitor again, the Navy Wounded Warrior (NWW) – Safe Harbor staff have shown me the resources to request assistance acquiring the necessary equipment to become an adaptive triathlete using a hand-cycle and push-rim racing wheelchair,” said McManus. “I can honestly say that the adaptive sports program saved my life and has allowed me to be a better husband and father than I have been in many years.”

The Navy honors the sacrifices of wounded warriors from the Navy and Coast Guard by providing them top-notch non-medical support through NWW – Safe Harbor. All enrollees in NWW are encouraged to make athletics a key component of their recovery efforts. By promoting wounded warrior participation in competitions like the DOD Warrior Games, NWW helps enrollees heal through adaptive sports.

For more information about the 2018 DOD Warrior Games, please visit http://www.dodwarriorgames.com/.