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G.I.s challenge injuries with new athletic efforts

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He passed along the name to Robinson, who soon was volunteering at the group's office on the Camp Pendleton Marine Corps base. The organization also bought Robinson a handcycle, and in the first days of this new year, Robinson found a new beginning.

"It was like the hardest thing I've done since being injured. It was fun to be able to move fast," says Robinson, lighting up as he recounts the thrill of that first, hour-long ride with Stitch on the back roads of Camp Pendleton. "Before, to feel a breeze, I would just have to sit there and wait for a breeze."

Now, he makes his own slipstream.

Then the team needed a new manager, and Robinson didn't hesitate to take the job.

"It's made our lives so much better," says Sara. "He's doing his thing and I'm doing my thing. It's a lot more normal."

Now, he spends long days working on recruiting, finding events for the athletes to participate in, and arranging the logistics to get them there. He also works out on the gym equipment in his garage, where a racing handcycle hangs from the ceiling and a leisure handcycle is parked next to his car.

Team Semper Fi's use of sports as mental and emotional rehabilitation is part of a wider community of such groups, including the US Paralympic movement. A division of the US Olympic Committee, the Paralympic movement originated from a rehabilitation program for wounded World War II veterans, according to the group's website, and it now has a dedicated veterans' program, partnering with Team Semper Fi.

Navy Corpsman Derek McGinnis, a founding member of Team Semper Fi, lost part of a leg and sustained other injuries when a car bomb slammed into his vehicle in the Iraqi city of Fallujah during a major battle in November 2004.

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