Image copyright US Marines
By Tammye Nash
Copyright The Cleburne (Texas) Times-Review
When Marine Staff Sgt. Dorman Bilbrey was first encouraged last year to participate in the Marine Corps Trials, he figured swimming would be his sport.
“I’ve always liked swimming, so I was definitely down on the swimming part,” Bilbrey said.
But, he wasn’t so sure about how far he could swim.
“When I started thinking about doing it, I thought I would sign up to do the 50-meter race. They had 50-meter and 100-meter races, but I thought there was no way I could swim 100 meters,” he said.
Then, he and the other Marine Corps Trials athletes got in the water and started swimming. Before he knew it, Bilbrey said, he had actually covered the 100-meter distance.
“The coaches were like, ‘Hey! Look at what you all did. You all just swam 100 meters,’” he said. “See, it’s not about what you think your limitations are. It’s about what you can do when you try.”
The Marine Corps Trials event, now in its fourth year, is an eight-sport, Paralympic-style invitational competition. It was held March 4 through Wednesday at Camp Pendleton in San Diego County, Calif.
The athletes invited to compete are wounded, ill and injured Marines and international wounded warriors. They are organized into four teams: Wounded Warrior Battalion-West, Wounded Warrior Battalion-East, Marine Veterans and International Allies.
Joshua native Bilbrey competed in the Wounded Warrior Battalion-East. He is stationed now with the WWB-East in Camp Lejeune, N.C.