Chief Master Sergeant Damian Orslene, or the “Chief” as his friends know him, is competing in the 2012 Warrior Games as a member of the Air Force Warrior Team. Click here to learn more about the Chief.
Kenny Chesney has a song by the title in the subject line, about all the people that shared the journey of his life is what he describes as “the best summer job ever”. I understand how he feels.
The rest of this week will be the craziest ever, so the chance to actually blog will be slim, but I hope to update my status as I go. So here it is. The Games are here! I am looking back at the hours and hours invested at physical therapy, throwing the discus, and on the road riding, everything it took to get here and can’t help but see all the people that have invested with me.
None of this would have happened without the undying support of my parents, Bill and Annette Orslene who this month will be celebrating 52 years together. I am proud to be your Son. There is a man behind the scenes, who is the first guy I call, day or night who just finds a way to take care of life’s little problems, he is one of the Angels on my shoulder, my Recovery Care Coordinator, Dan Ransom, thanks buddy!
There exists a man who talks more than I do, who is a kind and gentle soul, who comes to all our practices, helps out, lends me his car when I’m in town, acts as my self-appointed Publicist and never asks for anything in return; that is the definition of friend and he is mine, thanks Al Brittain. The Henigin family lets me invade their home for two weeks each May when I come early to acclimate, I love you guys. I have two life coaches, Cami Stock and my Uncle Albert, without them I wouldn’t have survived. I have reached out to them from the pit of my darkest moments. I literally owe both of them my life. I love you both dearly.
I have spent four years in Physical Therapy. The fact that I can walk and compete is due to a phenomenal surgeon named Dr. K, a miracle worker Physical Therapist by the name of Dr. Valerie “Bob” Sullivan, and my dearest Allie and her band of merry co-workers. I hope your dreams come true. There are two techs at the Biloxi VA who personally invested in my dream of competing, Ryan and Suzanne, thank you. I wouldn’t stand a chance without the bike I have, and I owe that, the training, the love and the friendship of a hundred new friends to John Wordin, Scotty Morro, Debra, Terri, Sara, Barb, Redneck and Shimano Dude at Ride2Recovery.
Hugs to my Church Families both at St Elizabeth Seaton and at Benet Hill Monastery. To MSgt Elisha Abercrombie and her Team, my brothers and sisters on the Air Force Team, that have shared so much together these past three years…you are in my hearts forever. To my Coaches: Scott, John, Dave Hunt, Buddy, Willie, Nikki, Liz and especially Dana, win, lose or draw… my life is better because of you. Thank you.
To my new family at Team R4V, for seeing the spark that still burned in this broken down bald guy and giving me a chance to voice my thoughts. Thank you.
None if this would have happened without the love of my life, My Bride, my Lori.
Inevitably I’ve missed someone. That’s what happens when you byname people instead of just peanut butter spread your thank you’s; a chance worth taking. If your the one Missed, sorry, I wrote this blog, instead of taking a much needed nap, so fuzzy brained and tired is my excuse, but know, that I know, that like the song says, “I couldn’t get here alone, it might be me (us) the spotlight’s on, but I couldn’t get here alone”.
Thank you for all that you have brought to my life. I wanted to feel like an athlete again, I wanted to believe I could do anything, and these Games, and your love, have taught me that I can.
Win or not, finish or not, I promise to do my best. The rest is up to God. Thanks for being part of my journey.