Veteran’s dream of reaching Paralympic Games dwindling

IED severely wounded Sgt. Leo Curtis in Iraq in 2004

Leo Curtis won the 2013 National Wheelchair Saber Championship after training for just 14 months, Sept. 16, 2014. (KOIN 6)
Leo Curtis won the 2013 National Wheelchair Saber Championship after training for just 14 months, Sept. 16, 2014. (KOIN 6)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN 6) – A local Iraq veteran’s dream of making it to the Paralympic Games is falling apart due to a lack of money.

Leo Curtis (right) won the 2013 National Wheelchair Saber Championship after training for just 14 months, Sept. 16, 2014. (KOIN 6)
Leo Curtis (right) won the 2013 National Wheelchair Saber Championship after training for just 14 months, Sept. 16, 2014. (KOIN 6)

An IED severely wounded Sgt. Leo Curtis in Iraq in 2004, and he has had to use a wheelchair ever since.

Curtis said he started fencing after his son took up the sport. He went on to win the 2013 National Wheelchair Saber Championship after training for just 14 months.

However, Curtis said his sponsor for the past two and a half years has run out of funds and can no longer help him. Curtis said he can’t keep competing on his VA pension.

“I’m just trying to serve my country in a different way. For 21 years, I wore a combat uniform. Now, I wear Team USA,” said Curtis.

Curtis leaves on Monday for Poland, which could be his last tournament if he doesn’t get more funding.

His goal is to make it to the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games.

For more information about Curtis’ journey and ways to help, visit his GoFundMe page: Leo Curtis trying for Rio 2016.

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