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Athlete Spotlight – Ruben Valenzuela: Motivating Others with an Infectious Smile

August 31, 2021 | Story by Megan Trexler | Commander, Navy Installations Command

WASHINGTON – Decorated Hospital Corpsman, HMC (Ret.) Ruben “Cooky” Valenzuela joined the U.S. Navy in June 2001. Throughout his career, Valenzuela moved around the world in support of the mission, with duty stations in the Washington, D.C. metropolis area, Okinawa, Japan, and Bremerton, Washington areas.

Philippines native, Valenzuela graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and is currently pursuing a Master’s in Healthcare Administration.

During his first Team Navy Training Camp, Valenzuela’s teammates would describe as someone with an infectious smile.

During the 2021 Department of Defense Warrior Games, freshman athlete, Valenzuela was slated to compete in cycling, archery, track, swimming, and shooting.

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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