Air Force Featured Stories

Warrior Games Profile - Tatiana Perkins

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(Editor's Note: From September 28 to October 4, more than 40 athletes representing the Air Force will be in Colorado Springs competing in the 2014 Warrior Games. This is a profile of one of those athletes, providing a behind-the-scenes look at who they are and the sport they represent. Note: Some profile information in the graphics may be outdated due to recent birthdays or events. The most current player information is below.)

WARRIOR GAMES: PLAYER PROFILE

Name: Staff Sgt. Tatiana Perkins (Ret.)

Team: Invictus and Warrior Games
Sports: Track and Field, Swimming, Archery
DOB: 16 July 1982
Birthplace: Honolulu, HI
Hometown: Ewa Beach, HI
Current Residence: Tucson, AZ
Injury: Transhumeral amputation of right arm, C-5 thru T-1 complete nerve root avulsion

Personal Profile:

Retired SSgt Tatiana Perkins enlisted in the Air Force Reserve as an engineering assistant in May 2001. While at Beale AFB, California she was assigned to the 940th Civil Engineer Squadron and often backfilled Active Duty positions with the 9th Civil Engineer Squadron. She also held an administrative position in the unit’s Orderly Room as a civilian. On 12 May 2006, SSgt Ignacio-Espejo (Perkins) was involved in a motorcycle accident on her way to work that resulted in complete paralysis of her right arm. After an extensive surgery and physical therapy, the paralysis led to her medical retirement in June 2008. Upon retirement, she obtained her bachelor’s degree in December 2008. She went on to work for the Veterans Benefit Administration from 2009 to 2011 as a Veteran Service Representative and also the Veterans Health Administration from 2011 to 2013 as a Program Support Assistant for the Amputation Rehabilitation Coordinator. After living with a flail right arm for 8 years, she made the decision to have a transhumeral amputation on 21 May 2014 so that she may explore the many growing options of upper extremity prosthetics. She is married to TSgt Earnest Perkins who is currently stationed at Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona with the 355th Civil Engineer Squadron as an Electrical Systems Craftsman.

Personal/Professional Achievements:

Bachelor of Science in Information Technology Management
2013 Valor Games Medalist—Shotput (Gold, F46), Discus (Gold, F46), Cycling (Silver, Recumbent) 2014 Desert Challenge Games Medalist—Shotput (Silver, F46), Discus (Silver, F46), Javelin (Silver, F46)
One of three finalists for the 2014 Invictus Games Inspiration Award presented by HRH Prince Harry