Retired Navy Airman Sadie Strong joined the Navy in January 2012 because she wanted to make a difference, and to be part of something bigger than herself. In October 2012, she was assaulted and later diagnosed with post-traumatic stress. She was subsequently medically separated from the Navy.
Strong participated in her second DoD Warrior Games as a returning gold medalist, June 19 – 28 in Quantico, Va. Her mother, father, grandparents and brother drove to the Games from Maryland to support her throughout the competition.
On June 26 at Barber Tent Field House, Strong participated in the shooting competition — prone and standing (open) divisions. While Team Navy fans cheered in the stands, Strong shot with incredible accuracy and concentration, and ultimately brought home the gold medal in both divisions.
“I just started shooting in the standing division a month ago and thanks to the great coaches, I continued to practice and improve my skills, daily, leading up to the competition. Winning two gold medals is just awesome,” said Strong.
“I usually stay calm while shooting, however during the shooting prone competition, I began to feel my heart race. I clamed myself down by closing my eyes, taking deep breaths and visualizing a 10.9 score.”
She credits adaptive sports with changing her life. “When I first came in to the program I could not focus on my life and shooting has helped me over come this, keeping my mind from dwelling on the negative. When I get back home from competition, I plan to continue with shooting, possibly going for Nationals or even the Olympics.”
Strong’s mother, Michelle Walcott, congratulated her daughter after winning her second gold medal in the standing shooting completion.
“My daughter is new to this sport. Last year’s DoD Warrior Games was her first time she participated in shooting and she won gold. It is amazing to see this crazy, amazing, talent that I never knew she had. This has been a great experience for all of us and I especially appreciate Navy Wounded Warrior – Safe Harbor for introducing adaptive sports to Sadie,” said Walcott.