Recovery Through Sport
Made up of more than 1,000 service members who qualify for our assistance, Team Semper Fi and Team America's Fund are the heart and inspiration of the Semper Fi Fund's Peter Murphy Semper Fi Fund Sports Program, and is an extension of the assistance we provide.
The idea for Team Semper Fi was inspired by those wounded Marines and Sailors, both visible and invisible wounds, who refused to let their challenges prevent them from competing in athletic events, and whose drive and determination was inspirational to us all.
The teams are made up of servicemen and women who have overcome significant challenges in their service to our country, and have embraced the fighting, athletic spirit on their road to recovery. Service members dealing with life changing injuries, traumatic brain injury, post traumatic stress, or critical illness are encouraged to join Team Semper Fi and Team America’s Fund. They are an inspiration to us all but, more importantly, they are an inspiration to their fellow service members who are also traveling down the road to recovery.
We provide our team with coaches, specialized sporting equipment, entry fees, and travel expenses to athletic events. Team members are also given the opportunity to receive high-level training from former and current Olympic and Paralympic athletes through a partnership with U.S. Paralympics! Grant funding for this program is awarded by U.S. Paralympics, a division of the U.S. Olympic Committee, through funding provided by Veterans Affairs. The grants are provided to facilitate the growth of Paralympic-sport programming for disabled Veterans and disabled members of the Armed Forces.
Wounded veterans back in the saddle
Canton, MS - There was always one soothing thought commanding officer John Mayer would share with his machine gunner Carlos Rochel during the difficult times of two tours of duty in Iraq, "nothing is better for the inside of a person than the outside of a horse."
Rochel is one of 16 veterans, 14 of which are Marines, in Canton through the weekend competing in the inaugural Dixie Challenge through the Jinx McCain Horsemanship Program, which is sponsored by the Semper Fi Fund.
For Rochel, who is an air conditioning repairman in Chicago, Friday was his first time on a horse.
"I was always afraid because I had seen horses buck up people, but this has been very relaxing," Rochel said. "She's got her own personality, Ms. Kitty."
For two days, veterans train like cowboys and ranch hands in western trail, roping and cattle sorting. On Sunday, they will put their training to the test with the challenge competing for trophies, belt buckles and bragging rights.
Mayer, who dreamed of being a cowboy while growing up in Willow City, Texas, retired from the Marine Corps after 33 years last year and took over the horsemanship program last year. The primary goal of the program taps into the concept of "recovery through sport" for soldiers who became wounded or ill while in service.
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Injured veterans take on triathlon camp, body and mind
Pensacola Beach will be home to some 20 injured veterans over the next two weeks as they take part in training for upcoming triathlons sponsored by teams Semper Fi and America's Fund.
Beginner and advanced athletes will have the opportunity to hone their swimming, cycling and running skills while regaining the sense of teamwork and camaraderie of military life.
"Part of the camp is triathlon," said Petty Officer 2nd Class John Murray of Team MPI, Multisport Performance Institute, and triathlon camp head coach. "And part of this is getting together with other folks that have been through the same things."
Vets ride to raise awareness, but not for themselves
Navy veteran Josh Sharpe, who lost the use of his legs in a car accident in 1994, will use a handcycle to travel the 180 miles from Houston to Austin, Texas, to raise awareness for his cause. Another 14 injured veterans will join, too, in the hopes of more public attention.
But it's not a military cause, or one dealing with injured veterans or their struggles.
Rather, it's an annual fundraising ride for multiple sclerosis research, an illness to which the veteran riders have only tangential connections.
"As injured veterans, we can identify with people struggling with this terrible disease," Sharpe said.
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Team Semper Fi and Team America's Fund take part in the BPMS150
The Semper Fi Fund is proud to partner with BP America to send 15 Team Semper Fi and Team America’s Fund athletes to ride alongside Team BP in the BP MS 150, April 18-19, 2015.
Over two days, these 15 veterans will bike 180 miles in support of those with disability due to multiple sclerosis. Team Semper Fi and Team America’s Fund athletes know what it’s like to face everyday challenges because of a disability. Through conviction and commitment, our athletes have overcome the odds and now continue to serve and inspire. At the BP MS 150, they will ride to encourage others facing their own ongoing physical challenges. Together, they’ll show that disability isn’t inability. Click here to read more!
Team Semper Fi’s Injured Veterans Finish Strong at Wounded Warrior Regiment Warrior Games Marine Corps Trials
Injured Athletes Go for the Gold Building Confidence and Life-Long Bonds - March 11th, 2015
For the fifth consecutive year, the injured veteran athletes of Team Semper Fi returned to compete for a coveted slot in the Warrior Games at the WWR Warrior Games Marine Corps Trials (MCT).
Team Semper Fi is a part of The Peter Murphy Semper Fi Fund Sports Program, Semper Fi Fund’s rehabilitative Athletic Program promoting “Recovery Through Sport.”
Of the 350 athletes vying for a place in the 2015 Warrior Games, 50 are wounded service members from Team Semper Fi competing in Archery, Wheelchair Basketball, Seated Volleyball, Cycling, Shooting, Track and Field, Swim, and Pentathlon. Striving for their personal best and going for the gold, they’re also building confidence and life-long bonds with their fellow competitors.