Puck It Up!!!
Jason Hunter #10 is the Captain of the Colorado Sled Hockey, Warriors and defenseman for the team. In the past he has played soccer competitively and volleyball for fun. His favorite professional hockey team is the Sharks.
Jason is an Army combat veteran who served 2 tours in Iraq. He joined the military late in life, after 9/11, because he saw the need to protect his country from terrorism. After his first year, he injured his right hand and has had multiple surgeries, but was unable to use it normally, constantly needing a brace. While over in Iraq in 2003, his vehicle sustained a major blow from an IED which left him with a traumatic brain injury, hearing loss, and PTSD. This injury caused major back problems with discs, balance issues, memory loss, and pain on a daily basis. After being honorably discharged from the military after 5 years he found no purpose in life and did not want to continue with it due to the aftermath of his serious injuries.
In 2013, he found sled hockey through Wounded Warrior at a retreat his wife signed him up for in Utah and was ecstatic to find such a sport. Jason’s wife saw an opportunity to play sled hockey at the Air Force Academy through Wounded Warrior. This was exciting for Jason, and it brought life to his soul. He has been playing sled hockey for 3 years now and it has truly brought him purpose again. It has grown into the organization it is today and has stretched him to take on a leadership role as Captain and ultimately has brought many great friendships.
Jerry DeVaul, #26 is President of the Colorado Sled Hockey Warriors, an Alternate Captain for the Warrior Avs team and plays as a defensemen. He is a native of Colorado and is originally from Trinidad, CO. He is a second year Sled Hockey player who has played stand up street hockey as a kid. He was also involved in other sports such as football, wrestling, track and baseball. He made many accomplishments while participating in sports. He was an all-conference linebacker and an all-conference tightend in football as well as a state qualifier for wrestling. His favorite professional hockey team is the Colorado Avalanche.
Jerry was active for 8 years in the Army, being deployed twice on 12 month deployments to Iraq and once on a 12 month deployment to Afghanistan. Jerry was a recovery wheeled vehicle mechanic while in the Army.
6 months after being honorably discharged Jerry went to work in a coal mine while waiting to enter school. 2 weeks on the job he was hit and pinned by a machine which resulted in the amputation of both legs above the knee.
After his accident and before he found sled hockey he enjoyed Downhill Mountain biking with his wife and friends. While traveling home from the airport one day his wife spotted a van that had adaptive sports all over it. They stopped and he met Corey Fairbanks who introduced him to sled hockey.
This was an exciting time because this allowed him to be on a team once again even with his disability. He was thrilled to participate with fellow Veterans who share one common goal. It has been a great experience for him as well as a great way to create memories, like the time he kept popping out of his sled and the referees had to pull him off the ice by his sticks!
Chase Cowan #99 is originally from Littleton, CO. He is a first year Sled Hockey player who has played stand up hockey in the past and also enjoys golf. His favorite professional hockey team is the Colorado Avalanche.
Chase was active for 5 years in the Army, being deployed once to Baghdad and has achieved the standard awards during his service in the military. He was involved in a crash landing where he sustained injuries to his back, neck, hands, wrists, knees and hips.
Sled hockey has allowed him once again to be involved in an intense exercise as well as being a part of a team. He is a great asset to the Warrior Avs as our goalie and isn’t afraid to “take a puck to the face”.
Orlinda Marquez, #25 plays for the Warrior Avs as a forward. She was born and raised in the state of Colorado and has been playing sled hockey for 3 years. She has also been involved in triathlons, cycling, dragon boat racing, and anything else at the Valor Games. Her favorite hockey team is the Colorado Avalanche.
Orlinda has had many accomplishments while serving in the US Army Corp of Engineers. She was in the 293rd Engineer Combat Battalion (Heavy) which is a part of the 18th Engineer Brigade. She served from Sept. 1987- June 1990. She was commissioned a 2nd Lt. upon graduating from the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, CO. While stationed in West Germany she also was given a Community Award for increasing military local relations. She passed first aid courses and earned a Silver Water Safety Card while participating with German Nationals in the German Red Cross Rescue Swimming Competition.
She developed PTSD due to Military sexual trauma; Lupus, Fibromyalgia and Degenerative joint disease possibly through inoculations; and a back injury from a fall at Cadet Basic Boot Camp. Ultimately, she has found a tremendous team support through sled hockey that helps her with her disabilities.
Something interesting about Orlinda is she had won a Gold medal for falling off her bike! She has had a DNA test done and discovered she is 30% Native American and 62% Spaniard. She had also participated in “This is My Brave” where she spoke of mental health and what has become her “Brave”. You can view her YouTube video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DktezIbHU8U
It's not how many goals we score, it's how many lives we touch!