Warrior Games profile: Michele Prindle

U.S. Air Force veteran Michele Prindle, a former noncommissioned offi cer, practices discus at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado, May 28. Prindle currently resides in Kapaa, Hawaii, on the island of Kauai.

Story and photo by Staff Sgt. Alexx Pons

Air Force Wounded Warrior Program

Retired Tech. Sgt. Michele Prindle enlisted in the Air Force in 2001 as an aircraft structural maintenance technician.

Considered an exceptional performer and Airman by leadership, her military career ambitions were cut short after suffering a traumatic brain injury and subsequent post-traumatic stress.

“I had given up on myself and furthering my career as I was transitioning from active duty to retirement status; the AFW2 family showed me I was not being tossed aside by the Air Force and that I still mattered,” Prindle said.

Q. So, we are here at the Air Force Academy at your first Warrior Games; what is going through your mind right now? What are you feeling leading up to this competition?

I am pretty stoked to represent the Air Force and compete against the other services … I think (I’ll) get more excited as we progress toward competition; but I have enjoyed watching other athletes get ready too who are going through the same motions.

Q. How does it feel being able to represent the Air Force here, specifically in this capacity as a warrior athlete?

A. This is very humbling for a program of this caliber to think highly of my capabilities to be among the 40 athletes who were picked to come out and represent.

Q. Do you think the team is ready for this year ‘s competition? What are some of the emotions everyone is feeling?

A. I think we are definitely ready; we have been training a lot and competing at local events. There are a lot of good, motivational nerves, but we are absolutely ready for this. Nothing is without challenge, but perseverance over adversity makes us more resilient. Q. How are all of the athletes supporting each other and keeping morale high?

A. We all have (our) own struggle and road to Warrior Games; enough of us have spent time with each other to know when something is going on so we are able to check in and help each other before negative emotions grab hold. We are one cohesive team.

Q. This competition is about so much more than medals and winning; what do you personally hope to take away from this experience?

A. I mean, do not get me wrong, I am here to win; but networking and meeting other people coming together in spite of competition and just being here through this together is a really unique experience. I recently traveled cross-country with my daughter and stayed with other Air Force warriors who I met through the program … this event is almost like spending time with extended family and something I will not forget.

U.S. Air Force veteran Michele Prindle, a former noncommissioned offi cer, practices discus at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado, May 28. Prindle currently resides in Kapaa, Hawaii, on the island of Kauai.

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