WEST POINT, N.Y. (NNS) -- Athletes and families were officially welcomed to the 2016 Department of Defense (DoD) Warrior Games during a celebration dinner sponsored by the Warrior Games Family Program at Hilton Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey, June 14.
Athletes from the United States' and United Kingdom's armed forces, along with family members and caregivers, were in attendance to kick off this year's games which are taking place at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, New York. The evening included welcoming remarks from Karen Guenther, Semper Fi Fund chief executive officer, president and founder; and Kenneth Fisher, Fisher House Foundation chairman and chief executive officer.
"We are not here just to honor your role in recovery, but also your families' role in recovery," Fisher told the athletes.
The evening continued with dinner and messages from guest speaker, retired U.S. Army Col. Gregory D. Gadsen, with closing remarks by Lt. Gen. Robert L. Caslen, Jr, 59th superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy.
Team Navy competed in sitting volleyball matches on the morning of June 15 to determine the bracket for the upcoming competition for gold on June 21, but were defeated.
"We put up a good fight, but in the end just got outplayed; however, we never got shut out," said Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Shane Gilley. "All of our games were close."
Gilley credits Navy Wounded Warrior - Safe Harbor as a tremendous support system on his path to recovery.
"Being stationed away from any military treatment facility after my accident, things were really confusing for my caregivers since they've never been in the military," continued Gilley. "NWW helped guide the way for them and introduced me to adaptive sports."
That evening, the opening ceremonies officially kicked off the 2016 DoD Warrior Games at U.S. Military Academy's Shea Stadium.
Thirty-seven seriously wounded, ill and injured Sailors are competing on behalf of Team Navy this year. The Warrior Games are being held June 15-22. Approximately 250 wounded warrior athletes are participating in the competition.
NWW, which sponsors Team Navy, is the Navy and Coast Guard's wounded warrior support program. Team members have upper-body and/or lower-body injuries, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, visual impairments, serious illnesses and post-traumatic stress.
For the latest news about the DoD Warrior Games, visit http://warriorgames.dodlive.mil/ and follow NWW on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Visit http://www.safeharbor.navylive.dodlive.mil/ or call 855-628-9997 to learn more about NWW and the benefits of adaptive sports.
Navy Installations Command is comprised of about 52,000 military and civilian personnel worldwide and is responsible for the operations, maintenance and quality of life programs in support of the Navy's finest fleet, Sailors and their families.
For more information, visit http://www.navy.mil/, http://www.facebook.com/usnavy/, or http://www.twitter.com/usnavy/.
For more about the Navy's shore enterprise, visit: http://www.cnic.navy.mil/. For more news from Commander, Navy Installations Command, visit http://www.navy.mil/local/cni/.