Sean was born on August 25, 1971 at Rickenbacker Air Force Base in Ohio. In 1978, he moved to Reynoldsburg Ohio with his family and lived there until he left for the Marine Corps in 1991. Sean ran cross-country and track throughout high school.
When he joined the Marine Corps, the first Gulf War had begun. After boot camp in Perris Island, S.C., Camp LeJeune, N.C. for Marine Combat Training and 29 Palms California for training in Ground Radio Repair, his first duty station was at 1st Marine Air Wing, Okinawa Japan. Sean spent 2 years in Japan while doing 2 exercises in South Korea (Team Spirit) and 2 exercises in Thailand (Cobra Gold). When he returned from Japan, he was stationed at 1st Light Armored Recon Battalion, Camp Pendleton, CA.
On March 19th, 1995, while riding his motorcycle up Palomar Mountain California he ran off the road at 70 mph and hit a mountain. Sean says “I broke several ribs, punctured both lungs and broke my back at T-8. I was airlifted to Palomar Hospital. After 11 days at Palomar hospital, I was transferred to VAMC San Diego. I spent 3 months in a “turtle shell”. *** Ironic story, my PVA service officer at the time was our very own Louis Irvin.” “I have 3 brothers and one sister. My brother Chris was also in the Marine Corps as an MP from 2006 – 2014. He did one tour in Iraq and one tour in Afghanistan. He was also in a serious motorcycle accident, but fully recovered. He wants to be like his big brother in every way ….haha”
In late 1995, our current PVA President Al Kovach introduced Sean to adaptive sports. In 1996, he went to his first National Veterans Wheelchair Games in Seattle Washington and has since competed in about 8 National Veterans Wheelchair Games. “Going to the Games was pivotal in my life because it gave me a way to transfer from a very active, able-bodied runner, to a very active adaptive runner (hand-cycler). The Games also introduced me to athletes who didn’t allow a disability to disable their lives”. “In 1998, I completed my first triathlon “Super Frog” in San Diego, which was a prequalifying triathlon for Navy Seals. And I finished it in a handcycle and push-rim (with Al Kovach and Jeff Smith). In 1997, I began taking classes at a community college and in 2002, I graduated with 2 Associates degrees in Marketing and Business Administration. In 1998, I also began doing white-water rafting with a Colorado adaptive sports program called “Colorado Discover Ability” or “CDA”. In 1999, I did a 13-day rafting trip down the Grand Canyon with CDA and my best friend Dana Liesegang.”
In 2003, Sean moved from San Diego to Grand Junction, Co. and quickly became addicted to snow skiing (Mono-ski). “I skied 3-4 days a week in the Winter and rafted every week or two in the summer.”
“In 2006, a devastating house fire destroyed everything I owned except my dog, my Jeep and the clothes on my back. In 2007 I also met my wife Monique. We started dating about the same time my new house was being built. In 2007, I got the crazy idea to buy a race track in Olathe, Colorado. It was a 3/8-mile oval dirt track. We raced stock cars, late-models, sprint cars, and even go-karts for the kids. On a busy Saturday night, the track would host 30-50 cars and 350-400 spectators. Unfortunately, in 2009, the economy took a nose-dive and gas reached $4 / gallon So, I sold the business.
In 2009, I returned to college and in 2010, I graduated with my Bachelors in Business Management from Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction, Co.. The day after my graduation, I moved to Orlando. Soon after I moved here, I started volunteering with AmeriCorps working in the offices of the Homeless Services Network. About a year into that job, I started coordinating Homeless Veterans Stand Downs in Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties. If I had to guess, I’d say we probably helped around 1,500 homeless Veterans and coordinated about 3,000 volunteers for the Stand Downs.
On October 7th, 2012, I married my wife, Monique in the balloon that floats above Downtown Disney. And in January 2013, our son (Evan Thomas Gibbs) was born. At this point, I was dad to Both Evan Gibbs and Bella Rogers and husband to Monique Gibbs.
In 2015, I resigned from Homeless Services Network so I can be a stay-at-home dad and hand-cycle full-time. I currently race for PVR and I’m trying to put together a team for the National Veterans Wheelchair Games.
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