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Vandenberg Airman takes silver in 2019 Military World Games

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Aubree Milks
  • 30th Space Wing Public Affairs

Nearly 10,000 participants from across the globe were in attendance of the Military World Games this year. With 27 different categories to compete in, everyone came with their own expertise to represent their branch and their country in an effort to take home the gold.

Two Airmen from Vandenberg Air Force Base participated in the 2019 Military World Games, officially known as the 7th CISM (Council International du Sport Militaire) Military World Games Oct. 18–27, 2019 in Wuhan, China.

One of the service members representing the United States in the basketball category was Staff Sgt. Jahmal Lawson, 30th Security Forces Squadron mobility equipment custodian. Lawson has been playing competitively for years, and during his service in the U.S. Air Force, has participated in three Armed Forces tournament and now two Military World Games.

“The first time I competed in the Military World Games, I was 26 years old,” Lawson said. “I had no idea that I would be competing again, but with the encouragement from my leadership and the amazing support from my team and my flight, I was able to do it once more and represent this base and our country.”

Lawson and his team held their own throughout the bracket, and after playing a total of six games the U.S. team left China with a silver medal and their heads held high. That wasn’t the only category that had one of Vandenberg’s very own Airmen; Lt. Col. Ian Holt, 614th Air Operation Center commercial integration cell chief, participated in the cycling competition at the Military World Games as well.

Holt began cycling back in 2001 when he was a cadet at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. As a determined competitor, Holt dedicates countless hours a week to train. He has participated in seven military cycling world championships, two of which were at the Military World Games.

“It’s amazing getting to see the different counties, their athletes and all the different disciplines,” Holt said. “It’s pleasing to see countries gather and compete with one another in that [manner], building friendship through sports.”

Although events such as this are infrequent, similar to the Olympics, the goal of the event is to contribute to building a peaceful and better world through an event that is based on the CISM and Olympic spirit, without political, religious and racial consideration nor discrimination. The first games took place to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II, symbolizing peace across all nations.

“For a brief moment all of these countries are just comrades trying to achieve the same goal,” Lawson said.