Soldiers training for this summer's Olympic games could miss their chance to go for the gold if they're deployed to Iraq first, but no matter how much effort goes into their athletics they say serving their country comes first.
"I'm a soldier first," said wrestler Keith Sieracki, adding that his two passions work well together.
"Being in the Army actually brought my dream back to reality, gave me another shot at wrestling," he said.
Six soldiers have qualified for next month's Olympic boxing trial and are in training at a world-class athletic program in Fort Carson, Colo., but could be deployed to Iraq at any time.
"If I am called to go to Iraq, then that's where I have to go," Staff Sgt. Torrence Daniels, an Army communications specialist and aspiring boxer, said.
The Department of Defense provides athletic training to ensure the U.S. Armed Forces are represented in amateur competitions such as the Olympics, but the athletes don't forget their duty.
Pentathlete Cpl. Anita Allen acknowledged it would be a disappointment to miss the games, but said duty comes first. "I think in the grand scheme of life there are things a lot more important. What's going on in Iraq is a terrible thing for the people and so the Olympics is not important in comparison to what's happening in Iraq"
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