“The challenge never stops; remember your training,” says Brent Garlic. While many veterans anticipate an uphill battle upon separation with a seemingly irrelevant skill set, Brent disagrees. An Army veteran, Warrior Game athlete, and fitness enthusiast, Brent is no stranger to battling adversary. He has not let his injury, hold him back, but rather used it as an opportunity to further challenge his physical and mental limits. With the help of The Extra Mile team and partner sponsors, he will be competing at the 2018 Warrior Games hosted at the Air Force Academy on June 1-9.
The Warrior Games is a United States Department of Defense multi-sporting event competition for wounded, injured, or ill service personnel and veterans spanning across the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, SOCOM, U.K Armed Forces, Australian Defense Forces, and Canadian Armed Forces. Events range from archery to wheelchair basketball.
In 1998, Brent enlisted in the Army, looking for an opportunity to develop himself physically and mentally through adversary while serving his country. The Army provided the perfect opportunity for Brent to become a better leader, create robust fortitude, and live an athletic lifestyle.
In the Army, Brent served as a 19K—tank gunner—in 1CAV 2-12. Before his accident, he served a tour in Bosnia where he embraced the cold and rough lifestyle. When he returned home, he could not wait to pursue the Green to Gold program and explore further opportunities to become a leader.
Brent encourages all service members and veterans transitioning into the civilian sector to take charge of their future. He advocates while there are many programs and veteran support, it is up to you to forge your opportunities. During his recovery, he found himself in a dark place and often alone. However, what got him on his feet and at a full sprint ahead was reaching out for help. He was able to use his team and loved ones to keep himself accountable to be an active participant in personal recovery, and encourages others to do the same.
The 2018 Warrior Games will be Brent’s first appearance for Team Army competition in basketball, cycling, swimming, and powerlifting. The Army’s adaptive reconditioning program, which uses sports to strengthen physical and mental health, has opened his eyes to numerous possibilities. He knew he would pursue physical challenges, but never thought that he would be able to find new talents and compete like the Warrior Games have allowed him to.
What’s next? After the Warrior Games, Brent will be training for an ultra marathon and envisions himself competing at the Invictus Games. There’s no slowing him down, and he cannot wait to share his experiences to aid the next generation of veterans transition from military service.