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Navy Athlete Hears Warrior Games Calling

By Shannon Collins
United States Department of Defense

July 2, 2017 - After 9/11, a Navy aviation structural mechanic said she wasn’t going to join the military, but heard a still, small voice that encouraged her to join.

“It was my calling from God,” Petty Officer 1st Class Andrea Dubus said. She also said it was in her blood since her grandfather, Kenneth Husted, served as a gunner’s mate in World War II, as well as other relatives who also served in the Navy.

Dubus, who’s served in the Navy now for 14 years, said her spirituality has guided her throughout her time in the military, to include her recovery from an injury in Japan. She said it will continue to guide her as she competes in this week’s 2017 Department of Defense Warrior Games.

About 265 wounded, ill and injured service members and veterans representing teams from the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Coast Guard, Air Force, U.S. Special Operations Command, United Kingdom and the Australian Defense Force are competing in shooting, archery, cycling, track and field, swimming, sitting volleyball and wheelchair basketball.

Warrior Games

Dubus will compete in track and field events to include wheelchair track, seated discus and shot put. She will also compete in the cycling competition.

“I’m excited and a little nervous, but this isn’t for medals; this is to prove to myself that I can do this,” she said. Dubus said she didn’t grow up being an athlete and resisted being a part of the program when she first heard about it, but enjoys it because “it feels great, it gives me a sense of purpose again. Everybody has welcomed me with open arms and have been really supportive. These guys have been a blessing. They’re great.”

While stationed in Japan about a year ago, Dubus suffered a shipboard injury while painting an aircraft which ultimately required a Chopart amputation to her foot. Once she was stabilized, she was sent to Naval Medical Center San Diego, California.

Dubus said God helps her through her good days and bad days, and she recommends adaptive sports to others who may also be ill, wounded or injured.

“Take it one day at a time and keep breathing because life doesn’t end,” she said. “What they just went through is just a pause. It’s not the end. There’s a scripture I like to quote, ‘I can do all things through God. He strengthens me.’ As long as you keep going, as long as you keep holding on to God, you can still keep going. It’s not the end. Keep going.”

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