Q&A with Staff Sgt. Kevin Greene

By Corey Parrish and Brian Anderson -- Defense Media Activity
June 21, 2019

Athlete: Staff Sgt. Kevin Greene
Hometown: Brooklyn, New York
Resides: Palm Bay, Florida

Q. How does it make you feel to participate in events with other amputees like you?
That makes me feel appreciative. I appreciate everything. Just to realize like it's for other amputees here I was in the hospital. My hospital experience wasn't great so I don't know that next man's hospital experience but they’re an amputee as well. I'd like to see them run with me or to see them row with me, to see them cycle with me. It's amazing because in my mind, I’m relating to you like, hey, man I know you was down at some point.

I was down at some point and look at us, we're out here now, we are enjoying the beautiful air have an opportunity to do this again, to have an opportunity to serve again potentially or even enjoy our families, so when we play the sport, when we compete against each other or when we're running next to each other whatever it is, we're doing it with each other. We're still doing it together we still have another opportunity to do it again, so these sports is just it's just a distraction in my mind like yeah we’re playing sports, but what's really important is we get to do it again like we can wake up in the morning to say hey we have that opportunity - to play to have fun and to enjoy our family, so that's really big.

To see other fellow amputees and people with non-visible wounds just like me to enjoy their families and enjoy a life, man it is a beautiful thing and to do it all in one program, it's awesome! Now we can understand each other. There's people like us that we never really know in our units that is happening - we have no clue but now you have that disability and you can talk about it without being judged in a sense.

Q. What’s the most important part of the program?
I would say the the part that helps us recover is us communicating with each other and getting together. All of us together in one place is huge for our recovery.

I was just in a mentorship class to be a mentor to another person with a similar injury to me and we just had a simple conversation - a conversation with another amputee that told me about this oil to prevent rubbing on my amputated leg. That and little moments where people would never talk to each other now we speak to each other because now we can relate to our same issues and problems that we have and that other people can't relate to. That networking piece builds friendships for forever and I feel like every care event that I've been to, every time I come back and I met a new person I meet another person I already knew and we still have a relationship.

There's no love loss, so I feel like the most important part of the program is for us to get together no matter if it's painting together or if it's doing sports together, if it's having dinner together: it's the people. That's what's important about this program.

Q. What do the coaches mean to you and the other athletes?
The coaches are awesome. There’s no wrong. There's no wrong way to do things. There's always another way. If that way is comfortable for you, do it that way. There they adapt to how your body is so the coaches teach how to be comfortable.

They make it an easy process for you. They're positive, they're funny. They’ll make you laugh; they'll teach you in a serious moment; they adapt to you. They find your temperament early ,whatever color you are, they find and they figure you out and I think that's what I love about the coaches; they don't teach everyone the same way and they don't talk to everyone the same way; they adapt to who you are.