We are thankful for the men and women who have sacrificed so much and fought for our freedom. Will you join SPIRIT and recognize some of our local Military Heroes? Today we are recognizing Donald Jackson.
“Retired Navy Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Aircraft Handler) 3rd Class Donald Jackson — who hails from Kent, Wash. — took home two gold medals at the inaugural Invictus Games in London, an international competition among wounded warriors from 13 nations. An accomplished athlete, he also recently competed at the fifth annual Warrior Games, a Paralympic-like event for seriously wounded, ill and injured U.S. service members.
'I like to strive for things like this that are once in a lifetime opportunities. In order for me to remain competitive, I have to train and be better. You can't just stay on a plateau. You have to keep going, keep rising,' said Jackson. Jackson has long been a sports fan, and when he was assigned to the USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74), he was thrilled to make the cut for the command's flag football team. Last fall, a biopsy confirmed that Jackson had epiglottal (throat) cancer. After completing intense medical treatments during the past year - during which he was grateful for support from his mother and brother - Jackson was medically separated from the Navy last month. After he received his diagnosis, Jackson enrolled in Navy Wounded Warrior (NWW) -- Safe Harbor, the Navy and Coast Guard's support program for seriously wounded, ill and injured service members and their families. NWW connected him to adaptive sports -- athletic activities modified to meet the abilities of injured or ill individuals. At the 2014 Warrior Games, which took place Sept. 28-Oct. 4 in Colorado Springs, Colo., Jackson took home several medals. He scored a gold medal in the Men's 100m Open, a gold medal in the Men's 200m Open, a gold medal in the Men's 4x1 Relay, and a bronze medal in Wheelchair Basketball. At the Invictus Games Sept. 10-14, he clinched gold in in the men's 100-meter sprint and the men's 4x100-meter relay. Jackson is preparing to go back to school, and to eventually acquire a civilian career. In the meantime, he continues to train and looks forward to competing again.”
Shared by MC3 Amanda L. Owens, Navy Office of Community Outreach
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