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Athlete Spotlight – Michael Diaz: A Lesson in Being Persistence

January 4, 2022 | Story by Megan Trexler | Commander, Navy Installations Command

WASHINGTON – In July 2009, HM3 Michael “Mike” Diaz joined the US Navy to become a Hospital Corpsman. The Navy Hospital Corps provides direct support to Navy and Marine Corps commands, squadrons, battalions and units. Hospital Corpsmen work in a wide variety of capacities and locations, including shore establishments such as naval hospitals and clinics and aboard ships as the primary medical caregivers for Sailors while underway. Additionally, hospital corpsmen perform duties as assistants in the prevention and treatment of disease and injury and assist health care professionals in providing medical care to Sailors and their families. With the diverse skills, Diaz believes that hospital corpsmen are “well rounded medical professionals.”

Shortly after his leg amputation, Diaz joined the Navy Wounded Warrior family in November 2019. As a new enrollee, Diaz shared that the Navy Wounded Warrior team was there for him and his family with whatever they needed, including coordinating flying out his mom and outlining all the resources available for him. 

Diaz describes himself as persistent, as he obstinately stays on course in spite of life’s difficulties. “I’m not going to stop just because things are hard. If I fail, I have to get up and try again,” he expressed.

Diaz said that out of all the adaptive sports he is participating in, he loves powerlifting the most because it’s an activity that mirrors his persistent mindset. Diaz said that powerlifting has both the internal and external drive to push yourself physically and mentally. “Powerlifting is all about trying to push your body to its physical limit. It’s an individual sport, but your teammates are right there cheering you on.” 

“I spent 10 years with the Marines, they would always push me which would be the reminder I needed to keep pushing myself,” he said. Diaz shared that’s exactly what his Team Navy teammates do.

Navy Wounded Warrior is the Navy’s sole organization for coordinating the non-medical care of seriously wounded, ill and injured Sailors and Coast Guardsmen and providing resources and support to their families.

The Warrior Games are a Paralympic-style competition among more than 200 wounded, ill and injured service members from all branches of the U.S. military, as well as from international armed forces. The 2021 Department of Defense Warrior Games would have been hosted at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida from September 12-22, 2021. The invitation-only event was going to feature 12 sports: archery, cycling, field, golf, indoor rowing, powerlifting, shooting (precision air), sitting volleyball, swimming, track, wheelchair basketball and wheelchair rugby. The 2021 DoD Warrior Games were canceled due to ensure the safety, health and well-being of our service members and local communities as the COVID-19 Delta variant continues to affect the country.


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