Navy veteran finds new outlook on life in Warrior Games

Posted at 7:40 PM, Jun 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-05 21:40:42-04

Emotions ran high today for families and friends as they watched their athletes compete in the final shooting event of Day 5 at the Warrior Games.

It was a true show of resilience for these athletes, as many had to overcome some difficult injuries to get to the games.

For Joseph Engfer, shooting is more of a mental game.

"It’s not physical at all, you basically have to get your mental head straight, get everything cleared out in your head, you can’t worry about anything else," Engfer said.

This warrior was hurt in a motorcycle accident about seven years ago.

"Actually I almost lost my arm, I almost bled to death," he said.

"It changed our life right away, everything in his life changed and everything in our life changed from that day forward, it’s never been the same," Tonya Engfer, Joseph’s mom said.

He was medically retired from the Navy by 2013.

"I lost myself, I lost my job, and so coming here helps bring me up, it really does," he said.

And he pushed through to compete in his second Warrior Games.

"I was absolutely scared to run after my accident, I didn’t want to fall on my arm and injure it anymore but this year I got five medals in my track events and it feels good, it’s awesome," he said.

And he got another bronze in shooting Tuesday morning to add to his collection of seven other medals from last year.

"It’s just an incredible experience, it’s absolutely amazing," he said.?

Leaving a mark on his entire family who flew in from Washington to watch.

"This kind of saved his life, by coming here and by being with other athletes like him and it’s kind of changed our lives because then we can meet with other parents that have been in the same situations," Tonya said.

Also attracting a retired Air Force veteran with the same exact name from Larkspur.

"The picture came across with a gentleman wearing a headband with the name Engfer on it  so I said, I have to go down, being it’s an unusual name and find out if I’m related to the same person," Joseph Engfer, an Air Force veteran said.

A possible distant cousin and a new supporter of these warriors.

"It’s very moving and being in the service, I could relate to what these guys have gone through so it’s a great experience," he said.?

Shooting is the third event Engfer is competing in, along with track and field and wheelchair basketball.