By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Tyrell K. Morris, Navy Public Affairs Support Element East
TAMPA, Fl. (NNS) -- Team Navy kicked off the 2019 Department of Defense (DoD) Warrior Games June 21 in Tampa Bay, Florida, competing alongside wounded warriors with combat and non-combat related conditions from other U.S. military branches and allied nations.
Team Navy consists of 40 Navy and Coast Guardsmen, who advanced to the DoD level in March as part of the Navy Wounded Warrior-Safe Harbor (NWW-SH) program. NWW-SH provides individually tailored assistance designed to optimize recovery, rehabilitation and reintegration activities.
“I am extremely proud of Navy Wounded Warrior-Safe Harbor,” said Vice Adm. Mary M. Jackson, Commander Navy Installations Command. “Our team works very, very hard to assist our Sailors and Coast Guardsmen and women who are navigating the uncertain and often cumbersome path of being wounded, ill or injured.”
NWW-SH is solely responsible for coordinating the non-medical care for Sailors and Coast Guardsmen and providing resources and support to their families and caregivers.
“It is a special honor to see these service members strive against competition and adversity. They truly exhibit the character and courage the services demand,” said Greg Slavonic, Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Manpower and Reserve Affairs.
Team Navy joins approximately 300 service members from the other branches of the U.S. military, as well as the United Kingdom Armed Forces, Australia Defence Force, Armed Forces of the Netherlands, Canadian Armed Forces and the Danish Armed Forces.
“Warrior Games brings together folks with different disabilities and it gives us the opportunity to look at the strength we all have because there is one common goal to move on and try things we’ve never done before,” said Rear Adm. Kyle Cozad, Team Navy rookie.
Since 2010, the Warrior Games have introduced wounded, ill and injured service members and veterans to Paralympic-style sports, including golf, which is a new competition this year.
“Adaptive sports and the Warrior Games are some of the many resources available to our wounded warriors,” Jackson said. “It is absolutely inspiring and impressive to see these athletes compete and to watch the team building and energy they get from each other. I firmly believe that coming to watch these warriors is a life-changing experience.”
The 2019 Warrior Games will feature 13 adaptive sports: archery, cycling, indoor rowing, powerlifting, shooting, sitting volleyball, swimming, track, field, wheelchair basketball, wheelchair tennis, wheelchair rugby and golf.
“When you suffer a significant injury or illness people try to tell you what you can’t do but participating in adaptive sports is our way of showing people that we can do anything we put our mind to,” said Chief Quartermaster Angela Everett, Team Navy rookie.
The Games are hosted by the U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) and events will take place throughout the city of Tampa Bay to include the Tampa Convention Center, MacDill Air Force Base and the University of South Florida.
The Warrior Games are schedule to conclude June 30 with a closing ceremony.
For the latest news about the DoD Warrior Games, visit https://dodwarriorgames.com/ and follow the Team Navy on Navy Wounded Warrior-Safe Harbor’s Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Navywoundedwarrior