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Air Force Veteran is Up Early and On the Beach Practicing

Kayaks lined up along the lakeshore. 

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Air Force Veteran is Up Early and On the Beach Practicing

Tourists gave her a rather odd looks, but Janet Escobedo didn’t seem to notice at all as she rounded out and threw a 2.2 lb discus with all her might on the sunny beach. "I'm a recreation therapist on the spinal cord unit at the Albuquerque VA," said Air Force Veteran Escobedo. "The last thing my guys said to me when I left was that I better not come back without a medal, so here I am, up at the crack of dawn sweating and practicing."

Escobedo served 20 years as an Air Force intelligence officer from 1977-1997, retiring as a lieutenant colonel. This is her first time competing at the NVGAG, although not her first time competing. In fact, in 1983, she competed in Berlin, Germany, at the Armed Forces Continental Sports Conference and won a Gold Medal for discus and even set a world record.

"That was a long time ago, though, and the Games have given me reason to work out and get back in shape. You know, I have to walk the talk if I’m going to convince paralyzed Veterans to get out there and exercise."

"I'm really happy to be here, but most importantly, I really need to do my best. I don't want to let my Veterans down," she said.