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Gabriel George showcases his talents at the 2022 Invictus Games

Jacksonville — The Invictus Games is an international sporting event for wounded male and female veterans. Launched in 2014 by England’s Prince Harry, Duke of Essex, the games are designed to showcase the fighting physical and psychological spirit of those maimed physically and mentally.

Today, more than 500 veterans representing 20 nations compete in the Invictus Games in archery, sitting volleyball, track, wheelchair basketball, indoor rowing, power-lifting, and swimming.

Many U.S. athletes hone their skills through programs initiated by the Wounded Warrior Project, an organization that works to meet the growing needs of warriors, their families and caregivers, to as they say, “help them to achieve their highest ambition.”

Gabriel George, a retired Navy corpsman, recently returned from the 2022 Invictus Games hosted in The Hague, The Netherlands.

The 36 year-old joined Wounded Warrior Project in 2015 after a motorcycle accident left him with severe spinal cord damage, resulting in a paralyzed right arm, which was amputated in 2020.

After meeting the Jacksonville resident I wondered if the energetic go-getter, nick-named the one-armed archer, realized how much he embodied the poem, written in 1875 by William Ernest Henley, also an amputee. A savage case of tuberculosis caused the poet to have his leg amputated. Fast forward to South Africa’s Nelson Mandela, who brought the poem to the forefront by sharing that he had frequently recited its words during his 27 year incarceration. I wondered if Gabriel realized how fitting the poem is for a man who’s name literally means. “God is my strength.”

Gabriel George was born in Texas in 1986. Raised by a single Mom with 5 children, he Joined the Navy after graduating high school to “accelerate his life. " Trained as a corpsman, he spent two years on a ship and worked behind the wire at Guantanamo Bay.

While leaving a Bible study in April of 2008, his motorcycle was struck by a driver making a u-turn. Gabriel spent three weeks in coma. When he opened his eyes, he could barely see. No one had removed his contacts.

Click on the links below to listen to my complete podcast with Gabriel George.

https://od-cmg.streamguys1.com/jacksonville-market/20220523095254-LVGabrielGeorgePodcastFinal5.23.mp3

Invictus

By William Ernest Henley

Out of the night that covers me,

Black as the pit from pole to pole,

I thank whatever gods may be

For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance

I have not winced nor cried aloud.

Under the bludgeonings of chance

My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears

Looms but the Horror of the shade,

And yet the menace of the years

Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,

How charged with punishments the scroll,

I am the master of my fate,

I am the captain of my soul.

Lucia Viti

Lucia Viti

Lucia Viti is a seasoned journalist, photojournalist, and published author and works as a reporter for WOKV News. Lucia is a graduate of the University of West Virginia with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Journalism.

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