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Local Competes In The 2024 Warrior Games

A resident of Fort Wayne, Indiana, will join more than 250 seriously wounded, ill and injured service members and veterans at the Department of Defense (DOD) Warrior Games Challenge June 21-30, 2024, at ESPN Wide World of Sports in Orlando, Florida.

Navy Master-at-Arms 2nd Class Dillon “Rip” Ripperger will be competing against athletes representing the U.S. Army, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Space Force and U.S. Special Operations Command. During the 10 days of competition, Ripperger will compete in archery, field, shooting, swimming and track.

Hosted by U.S. Army Training & Doctrine Command (TRADOC) the DOD organizes an annual premiere and elite adaptive-sports competition, the Warrior Games. This year is the 14th Anniversary, highlighting the exceptional physical skills and mental toughness of seriously wounded, ill and injured active-duty and veteran service members. Though there are medals distributed during Warrior Games, the competition most highly celebrates personal tenacity, perseverance and the triumph of the spirit.

Master-at-Arms Second Class Dillon “Rip” Ripperger joined the Navy after high school. He wanted to pursue a career in special programs. He transferred to seven duty stations in his nearly 15 years of service. After joining the Navy Wounded Warriors, his care team encouraged him to try adaptive sports as a way to process his transition out of the Navy and into civilian life.

“Adaptive sports surrounds me with other people who understand the struggle of medical retirement and transitioning to civilian life,” said Ripperger. “It equipped me with new tools and methods of coping. I’ve made contacts to reach out to in times of struggle.”

Away from sports, Ripperger is always striving for quality of life improvements. He most enjoys time outside, like yard work and maintenance, fishing, hunting, camping and hiking.

For more information about the 2024 DoD Warrior Games Challenge, visit dodwarriorgames.com.

Team Navy is part of Navy Wounded Warrior’s adaptive athletics program. Serious illness or injury can profoundly impact that way of life, often confining a service member to a hospital bed and significantly altering their physical capabilities. Adaptive athletics have been modified to meet the abilities of injured or ill individuals. Sports also help build self-esteem, lower stress levels and invite service members to rejoin a supportive team environment.

Navy Wounded Warrior is an unbiased advocate that bridges the needs of commands, care teams and service members in planning a way forward after a serious wound, illness, or injury. Staff guide Sailors and Coast Guardsmen, with their families and caregivers, to create a comprehensive recovery plan, which provides a holistic approach tailored to individual recovery, rehabilitation and reintegration needs. The program allows service members and their families to feel empowered and supported as they adapt to their new normal. Tens of thousands of seriously wounded, ill and injured service members located throughout the country received assistance from the Navy Wounded Warrior.

Sailors and Coast Guardsmen may self-refer to Navy Wounded Warrior, or be referred by a family member, their command leadership or their medical team.

Contact the Navy Wounded Warrior call center at 855-NAVY WWP / 855-628-9997, or email navywounded warrior.fct@navy.mil.

The Waynedale News Staff
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