SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- For Lorraine Currow, serving in the military gave her a purpose. She spent 21 years in the Navy and the Coast Guard, but a severe injury in 2013 left her in pain and unsure what to do next. She was unloading equipment from a vessel when she fell, suffering a spinal cord injury that impacted her left leg and caused two herniated discs.
"I was trying my hardest to find a pain management program," said YN1 (Ret.) Currow. "Through that process, I met somebody at the soldier recovery unit, and he changed everything for me."
She got involved with the Army Recovery Care Program, where her passion for weightlifting and powerlifting only grew. Then she began competing in the Navy Wounded Warrior Program's adaptive sporting events.
"They found out that I was retiring with the Coast Guard and the Coast Guard actually falls under the Navy team for the Warrior Games," said Currow. "They said you really should try out. Every service has their own opportunity to pull one male and one female for ultimate champion, so I actually will be competing as ultimate champion for the Navy team."
Currow is also competing in several other sporting events at the 2022 Department of Defense Warrior Games in Orlando, including cycling, field, indoor rowing and swimming, in addition to ultimate champion. The DoD Warrior Games celebrate the resiliency and dedication of wounded, ill and injured active duty and veteran U.S. military service members.
Currow's long recovery has also inspired her to give back to other wounded warriors. She now works as an adaptive reconditioning program specialist at Brooke Army Medical Centers Soldier Recovery Unit in San Antonio.
"I want to do this job. I want to be there for these service members," said Currow. "I want them to have this connection where somebody understands what they're going through. They end up basically becoming a part of your family."
The DoD Warrior Games are being hosted at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at the Walt Disney World Resort from Aug. 19-28. Disney is the parent company of ABC Localish. To learn more about the DoD Warrior Games, click here.