Team Navy Celebrates Close of 2017 Department of Defense Warrior Games
After all the fanfare, the crowds and the cameras, Team Navy joined their fellow competitors July 8 at a small event at Navy Pier in Chicago to celebrate the conclusion of the 2017 Department of Defense Warrior Games, hosted by the Navy.
The event was closed to the public. Only the athletes and their loved ones gathered to say goodbye to new friends and to share the new memories they have made.
The Games included teams from each of the U.S. military services, as well as teams from the United Kingdom and Australia. The teams competed in archery, cycling, track and field, shooting, swimming, sitting volleyball and wheelchair basketball.
The Warrior Games introduced wounded, ill, and injured service members and veterans to Paralympic-style sports. The event demonstrated the incredible potential of wounded warriors and provided a tremendous healing power to the athletes. One of the most impactful elements of the Games, however, was the sense of community that formed among the athletes.
"It gives you a chance to be a part of a family - people who understand," said Aviation Machinist's Mate 1st Class Andrea Dubus, Team Navy athlete.
Cultivating that sense of community is a key part of Navy Wounded Warrior (NWW) - Safe Harbor's adaptive sports program. NWW is the Navy's sole organization for coordinating the non-medical care of seriously wounded, ill, and injured Sailors and Coast Guard members and providing resources and support to their families. All NWW enrollees are encouraged to make athletics a key component of their recovery efforts.