Stacy Pearsall of Goose Creek has been congratulated by United States Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta for winning gold at the 2012 Warrior Games.
Pearsall, the Charleston Center for Photography Director, took part in the Games, which were held at Colorado Springs, CO April 30 – May 5.
A decorated U.S. Air Force photojournalist – since retired – Pearsall was one of hundreds of military veterans who competed in the Games. Panetta greeted many of the vets who competed.
Pearsall competed in 1500 meter and 800-meter races, rifle shooting standing and prone, seated volleyball and wheelchair basketball. She earned a gold medal in the 800-meter, a silver medal in the 1500-meter, a bronze medal in rifle shooting, and a bronze medal in seated volleyball.
Although running is physically painful for her she's inspired to run for those who died or were wounded and can no longer run themselves.
As a combat photographer, Pearsall was wounded twice during her combat tours in Iraq in 2004 and again in 2007. Despite the after-effects of her war injuries – Pearsall still suffers from constant pain and vertigo – doctors cleared her to compete in the Warrior Games.
The Games were hosted by the U.S. Olympic Committee's Paralympic Military Program to maximize wounded veterans' abilities, and to display their true potential through competitive sports.
The Warrior Games help elevate abilities through athletic competition, with events such as shooting, swimming, archery, sitting volleyball, cycling, track and field and wheelchair basketball.
Although Pearsall is no longer a combat photographer, she is still using her talents to raise awareness for disabled veterans' issues, in addition to her work as the director of the Charleston Center for Photography. After spending much time at the Veterans Affairs hospital, retirement home and homeless shelter in Charleston, she started bringing along her camera and creating portraits of veterans she met. She has amassed a collection of 350 portraits that are on display at the Charleston Veterans Administration as part of a fundraiser.
She has also been involved with veterans' advocacy efforts including the Wounded Warrior Program, American Legion, VFW, and Team Racing for Veterans and Women in Military History.
As part of Pearsall’s support for military vets, she implemented the policy of providing lower-priced photography classes and workshops for all military personnel at the Charleston Center for Photography, downtown Charleston.
For more information contact the Center for Photography at (843) 720-3105, or at www.ccforp.org.
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