Derek Hanna was 1 of 96 men selected to take part in the warfighter games, participating in battle drills, endurance tests, and warrior challenges.
"It is hard, and it is grueling, and I would have to think that it would create a perfect solider," says Denise Hanna, Derek's mom.
"They choose the best of the best military police soldiers and we come down here and compete against each other," says Derek Hanna, Warfighter Games participant and Rome native.
32 teams. 96 soldiers. Participants from all over the nation.
"They offer the best training in the world and it's the greatest army in the world so I wanted to be a part of that," says Derek.
After winning a brigade competition in Fort Dix, New Jersey, Hanna was selected to participate in the nationals in Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. His family says although they miss him, they are very happy.
"I'm amazed that he had the physical and mental prowess to be selected," says Denise.
"When he sets his mind that he wants to do something, he's gonna give it 100%," says Donald Hanna, Derek's dad.
"The tasks that they do are very physically tough but there's a lot of mental too. It's just an honor to be picked for that," says Sara Hanna, Derek's wife.
Hanna says it's been a grueling but unforgettable experience.
"Lack of sleep, covering 10-miles of terrain in a 4-hour period with very minimal light; we had to plot and find points so that was pretty difficult," says Derek.
Some area residents are calling Derek a "hometown hero," but his family says they just want to have him home.
"I miss him very much and i can't wait to have him back home," says Sara.
"I want to give him a big hug and kiss. Even though he's 28, that's my son and I'm his dad," says Donald.
"I'm very proud of you and come home soon," says Denise.
The 16th Annual Military Police Warfighter Competition wrapped up today and Hanna says he's excited to see where he ranks. His family says whether he wins the games or not, they're just looking forward to having him back home this Sunday.
Eyewitness News was able to talk with Derek in Missouri through a satellite feed provided by DVIDS- Defense Video & Imagery Distribution System.