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Carrying the Torch

The following is the second in a series of blog posts about the 2011 Warrior Games in Colorado Springs, CO by Logistics Specialist 1st Class Robert “Steve” Lipscomb; member of Team Navy/Coast Guard

U.S. Navy 1st Class Logistics Specialist Robert Steve Lipscomb passes the Olympic Torch to teammate U.S. Coast Guardsman Electrician's Mate 3rd Class Michael K. Bell during the Opening Ceremonies of the 2nd Annual Warrior Games at the Olympic Training Center, Colorado Springs, Colo.

I recently received one of the most shocking phone calls of my life. It was a call from Rear Adm. Cynthia Covell of the Total Force Requirements Division, who oversees Navy Safe Harbor.  My first reaction was to wonder: “What did I do, and why is an Admiral calling me?”  She informed me that I was selected to carry the torch for the Navy at the upcoming Warrior Games in Colorado Springs.   I am not often speechless, but I was at that moment – and I still am amazed.

When you think of the torch, it is the symbol of the Olympics. It represents freedom, hope, and solidarity. Through a global force of good, the Navy does this through three similar values: Honor, Courage, and Commitment.  To carry the torch for the Navy is a privilege that I will savor every step of the way.

As I was carrying the torch, I hope it reminded people of the sacrifices that our Sailors make every day.  I carried it to honor those that have gone before us and paid the ultimate price for freedom. Furthermore, I hope it was a reminder to every Sailor to never forget where you came from and where you are heading.

To be selected to participate in the Warrior Games with such an incredible group of men and women who have accomplished so much is simply awesome. Together, the members of Team Navy/Coast Guard have discovered new capabilities we can apply to everyday challenges and opportunities.  We all have overcome a great deal, and we have proven to each other that we can do anything.

Team Navy/ Coast Guard already has won gold with our passion and dedication to each other, and to the Navy and Coast Guard communities.  In a very short time we have developed a special bond that feels like a family reunion when we are around each other.  Our coaches have taught us a valuable lesson: “It is all about ‘we’ and not ‘me.’” When one wins, we all win. The key to our team’s success is one simple thing – teamwork.

Speaking of teams, I have been blessed to have one heck of a team to support my fight with cancer.  As God as the coach, and with family, friends and shipmates on the team, I am well on the way to beating this thing. Being a part of Navy Safe Harbor, the Navy and Coast Guard’s wounded warrior support program, has made me passionate about paying it forward and making a difference.  Along with Warrior Games, Navy Safe Harbor has encouraged me to get out of bed every day and fight.

Obstacles are no more than temporary interruptions to success.  My personal mission statement is that, with a plan and goal, you will succeed. Once you take ownership of a problem, you can overcome it. As our coaches say: “GAME ON!”

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