Sports Soldiers: They Perform Triathlons to Heal the Wounds of War

Injured in the French war, they found an exit for psychological distress through sports. Eight of them embarked on a crazy challenge with the Terre Fraternité Society. It’s a 24-hour triathlon.

The terrace of the bar on the outskirts of Toulouse. The bike passes very close and backfires. Bryce puts the mint diabolo on the table. “The sound of an engine, a helicopter, a boy breaking a firecracker … it brings back memories.” »»

This is Brian. He is 39 years old. On August 18, 2008, he was conducting reconnaissance with international aid security forces in the Uzbin Valley, Afghanistan. At that time, nearly 150 Taliban caught them in the pinch movement. Uzbin’s ambush left a tremendous amount of trauma, 10 dead and 21 injured in French troops, including eight soldiers from the 8th RPIMa in Castres, to which Bryce belonged. “I lost 10 brothers in my arms, I picked them up … it calms down. It’s a war, it’s not clean, it’s not clean, and you have to live with it. Hmm. “”

Therefore, for 14 years, Bryce has lived together. He suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder. After Afghanistan, he clings to the army, saying, “All we need is a grain of sand. We see the dead in Mali, are hit, then attack another, and after a while we don’t want to go to work. And Shrink says stop, we stop. He has been on a long vacation since 2020. Ups and downs, an outburst of anger exploding for no reason, “corpse” when the Ukrainian war broke out. There are sleepless nights spent “on Twitter” watching the video, and “frustration that we think it’s useless. But in the midst of pain, an island of comfort may appear. Bryce is another. Like many, they reach them through sports.

24-hour triathlon

This Friday, he will take a 24-hour triathlon to depart Fontainebro and take him to the quay in Paris, along with eight other injured and an officer from Cabat (Army Wounded Aid Cell). ..

The majority of teams suffer from post-traumatic stress. Some, like this 22-year-old soldier, were physically injured in anti-paraplegic surgery after jumping into a mine in Mali. “The spiritual strength of these guys is impressive,” he praises Bryce, who says “keep things in sight” when he sees them. A colleague of my paraplegia, he was swimming 50m freestyle with only buoys on his arms and hips. That surprised me and that’s why I wanted to take on this challenge. There are young people in distress, going elsewhere for Mali and France, they are back and their lives are shattered. But they keep smiling, give themselves the means to move forward, and have a project. »»

One of the team members aims to participate in the 2024 or 2028 Olympic Games, for example. Tony Estange, the boss of the Paris Olympics, needs to witness Andre Citroën’s platform for the arrival of her triathlon.

“When we are between us, we forget our injuries.”

Bryce learned that: “You can rebuild yourself through sports. He enrolls in one of the many courses organized by Cabat or CNSD (National Center for Defense Sports) in Fontainebleau. Before I did, he hesitated a bit. He said, “When I first got on the train, I wondered what I was doing there.” But I did, I know it. “» »»

Today he talks about the “family” and explains the bonds that connect him with the rest of the group. “When we are between us, we forget the injury. Nobody talks about it, everyone sleeps, even a handicap, there is no taboo. We are in a bubble And it really does a good thing to us. No one is on the sidelines because all sports are suitable. »»

The Paris Triathlon is his idea that came after Covid canceled the US Marine Corps trial. An event where injured soldiers from various countries gather. “I’ve been crazy about it all the time, which made it possible for me to think about something else to evacuate.” In the first edition, which attracts others, he’s already the godfather of the judo champion Margot. From Pino to Thibaud Flament of Stade Toulousain to cyclist Remi Cavagna, we have succeeded in uniting around the project.

Recently, an auction (especially using the stadium and TFC jersey) was held. All funds will be donated to the Terre Fraternité Association, which assists the injured in the military. At the end of the vacation, Bryce doesn’t know exactly what he will do, but he is convinced of one thing. »»

To follow or support a triathlon: Instagram: 24h_de_triathlon_blesses_adt
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