HENRICO, Va. (WRIC) — Monica Southall is a volleyball champion. Every time this Short Pump resident serves and spikes, she is sitting down.
“Recovery is always a journey,” she says. “It’s not a sprint or marathon. It’s going to take time for everything to recover, so I just take it day by day with my recovery.”
Southall served thirteen years with the Army National Guard. In 2009, she suffered non-combat injuries to both knees, both shoulders and her lower back in Afghanistan.
“It’s a struggle daily. I still deal with a lot of pain, still having different things to work on, different surgeries. It’s a process,” Southall explains.
She was always involved in sports in high school and at Virginia State University, so she was thrilled when she found the Department of Defense Warrior Games in 2010. It is an adaptive sports competition for wounded, ill and injured service members and veterans. This year’s competition started on June 15 at West Point, New York.
“I knew it was going to give me a chance to be active again. That’s what I wanted so bad,” Southall says why she loves the Warrior Games. “I definitely give 100% anytime I participate in these events. When competition comes around, it’s game on. I’m ready, I’m focused, and I try to give everything I can to the competition.”
Southall competes in the shot put and discus events, too. She has a message for all her friends, family and Richmond Black Widows Football teammates in the Richmond area.
“I’m here, I’m going to make you proud, do well while I’m away. And go Team Army!”
At the Warrior Games Closing Ceremonies on Tuesday, Southall will receive a bronze medal with the Army’s sitting volleyball team. She will also bring home gold medals in the shot put and discus field events.