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July 28, 2016 • Headline News
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Amanda (Thompson) Frey: wounded veteran
Former resident competes in military’s Warrior Games

Despite suffering from a traumatic brain injury while serving in Iraq, Amanda (Thompson) Frey has found an outlet to manage stress and improve her focus. Frey, a retired US Air Force captain, and daughter of Lee and Marla Thompson of Holton, competed in 2016 Dept. of Defense Wounded Warrior Games as a member of the Air Force team. She competed in recumbent cycling and in rifle marksmanship. As she told the Moody Volunteer Air Force base newspaper, “Shooting is a calming, therapeutic experience for me.”

Amanda Thompson FreySUBMITTED PHOTO
Amanda Frey was fast enough on this three-wheel cycle to earn a gold medal.

Held from June 15 – 22, this year’s games were hosted by the US Army at the United States Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. Approximately 250 recovering wounded, ill, and injured service member/veteran athletes from the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Coast Guard, Air Force, Special Operations Command and the United Kingdom Armed Forces competed. Gold, silver and bronze medals were awarded to winners in each of eight sports: archery, cycling, field, sitting volleyball, marksmanship, swimming, track and wheelchair basketball. Television personality Jon Stewart emceed the event and several military dignitaries attended, including the Secretary of Defense.

The goal of the military’s adaptive sports and reconditioning activities is to help enable healing of wounded, ill and injured service members and veterans through a holistic approach throughout their recovery and reintegration process. Service member injuries include upper body, lower body, and spinal cord injuries; amputations; serious illnesses; traumatic brain injuries (TBI); visual impairment; and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Each service branch conducts camps, clinics, and trials to assemble their teams for the DoD Warrior Games. Earlier this year the Air Force held it’s trials at Nellis Air Force Base near Las Vegas. While there, Amanda qualified to compete in marksmanship (rifle) and recumbent cycling. Even though she had rarely shot outside of military training, she earned a position on the shooting team.

Amanda entered the Air Force in 2008 as a civil engineering officer and deployed to Iraq in 2010 where she was helping to build schools and other public buildings. During this deployment, she was on a joint engineering mission with the U.S. Army near Balad, Iraq when the Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle in which she was being transported rolled twice. As a result of the turnover, Amanda sustained a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and back injuries. Like other injured service members and veterans she sees adaptive sports as a means of moving forward with her life and regaining her confidence.

“My injury has limited me as I face problems with my balance, memory, cognitive processing, and migraines. These issues are the reason for my daily ups and downs. It’s hard to deal with but I’m thankful for the good days that I have. I must admit, after the incident I didn’t know what to do next,” she told the Air Force base newspaper. The competition has given her purpose to not dwell on the past. At the recent games, she earned a gold medal in the recumbent cycling (a three-wheel bicycle) and shot a 9.9 with a borrowed rifle after hers was disabled in the rifle competition. Those who earn two medals may advance to the Invictus Games, which is much like the Olympics.

Amanda lives in Destin, Florida, with her husband USAF Captain Jason Frey and her service dog Orion. Her husband’s special ops deployment was delayed so that he could attend the June games. Her mom and dad serve as caregivers when her husband is gone, and attended the Warrior games. Amanda attended South Ripley schools in the ’90s. She is a member of the Versailles American Legion. Lee Thompson, retired from the Air Force, noted that he is glad to see the US military and government reaching out to the wounded veterans.

Local Bulletin Board

Application deadline is Friday, August 5.
Tyson Fund grant applications available
Many years ago, before Jim Tyson passed away, he wanted to set up a system to perpetually assist the residents in Versailles with things that might otherwise increase their taxes. He decided that he would set up a trust so that groups that are nonprofit and hold an IRS 501c (3) or (4) exemption could request funds to help them out with projects that would otherwise fall on the taxpayers in the Versailles area! For more information about the Tyson Fund, eligibility and how to apply read page 2 of the Osgood Journal dated June 14.

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