Editor’s note: These stories were produced by the Department of Defense and published here as part of a partnership with Military Times.
Staff Sergeant (Retired) Adam Foutz will compete for the first time in this year’s DoD Warrior Games Challenge. However, Foutz’s story of dedication and determination to accomplish this goal begins in 2015 when, after nine years of service, he was medically retired while assigned to the Marine Raider Support Group due to an autoimmune disease. Foutz decided then to learn everything he could about military adaptive sports, the DoD Warrior Games, and the Invictus Games.
Learning about adaptive sports, specifically the DoD Warrior Games, got “him off the ground,” giving Foutz motivation to improve his strength and keep moving despite the challenge in front of him. The Games would allow him to showcase how far he has come since his diagnosis. Foutz states, “The competition is simply a snapshot of my progress and an opportunity to share my recovery process with fellow service members and veterans in a competitive and supportive environment.”
Annual check-in calls from his USSOCOM Warrior Care Program Recovery Care Coordinator reminded him that he was still part of “SOCOM FOR LIFE.” This constant communication helped Foutz feel connected to his community and reassured him that he wasn’t alone. In 2019, his Recovery Care Coordinator helped him apply for the Marine Corps’ Military Adaptive Sports Trials for the 2020 DoD Warrior Games and Invictus Games. The 2020 Marine Corps Trials would have been his first military adaptive sports experience and a life-changing experience. Foutz was excited about the opportunity to participate in the upcoming games. Then COVID happened canceling the 2020 and 2021 DoD Warrior Games.
Despite being immunocompromised, Foutz remained determined to find a way to stay involved. In 2021, he participated in the Military Adaptive Sport Virtual Challenge hosted by the Services and USSOCOM’s Warrior Care Programs. Alongside his fellow athletes, Foutz competed virtually on the Marine Corps team in rowing, running, and swimming, where he placed first in the four-minute row, the 1500-meter, and 800-meter run, setting personal bests!
Unfortunately, Foutz couldn’t participate in the 2022 DoD Warrior Games or Invictus Games, but that didn’t stop him from attending the 2022 Team SOCOM training Camp to support his teammates. Foutz knows firsthand the impact that military adaptive sports and the Games have on our wounded warriors, and he wasn’t going to let them down or give up!
In 2023, Foutz will get his turn, despite recovering from a recent car accident. He will participate as an athlete on Team SOCOM at the 2023 DoD Warrior Games Challenge! During selection camp, Foutz aimed to be assessed in every sport to test himself, learn new skills, and see what he could achieve. Despite the challenges, Foutz never gave up on his dream and will travel to San Diego in June along with the rest of Team SOCOM!
Cycling, Rowing, Swimming, Track