Know The Warrior: Resilience Is Everything

Know the Warrior_Colin Pappas

By Army Sgt. Jason Goselin

Competitors at the Department of Defense’s Warrior Games come from all Services of the military and all walks of life, but they all share and embody a common trait–resiliency. 

Retired Senior Airman Colin Pappas is a prime example of not allowing circumstances to hold him back. His road to recovery from colon cancer has sparked a new passion for life and for sport. 

“My doctors told me, you’re not going to the Air Force trials,” said Pappas. “I said, watch me.”

After making his bold statement to medical professionals, Pappas was determined to prove himself.

“I was sprinting for the first time in six years,” said Pappas, “I was cycling like I used to.’” 

Once Pappas learned he’d qualified for the Warrior Games and they were being held at ESPN World of Sports, he knew he had to compete. 

“My wife and I got married here in Florida,” Pappas said. “After all that we’ve been through, it felt like fate, like we were supposed to be coming back here.” 

Pappas originally joined the Air Force to fulfill his family tradition of military service and took pride in carrying on the legacy. 

“My dad served, and both my grandfather and great grandfather served,” said Pappas. “It’s a family dedicated to service.”

Pappas believes that your mindstate is everything, and once you convince yourself you can do something, you can. 

“I told myself I’m just going to compete and do the best I can,” said Pappas. “If you can get your mind behind something, the rest will follow.”

Pappas credits his wife and two children for why he’s adopted such a positive outlook. He strives to be a motivation to his kids and to others who may have similar challenges. 

“I want people to see that you may have this trial or tribulation, but you also have the ability and proficiency to get through it,” said Pappas. “There’s always a way forward.” 

For more information on Colin and the other competitors, visit the Warrior Games teams page.