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The Unsung Heroes of the Warrior Games


06/28/19 11:48 AM

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kody A. Phillips

TAMPA, Fla. (NNS) – As Team Navy continues to compete at the 2019 Department of Defense Warrior Games, there are crucial members of the team who never see time on the court, yet they work just as hard, sacrifice just as much and push themselves to equivalent limits as the athletes.

“There would not be a Team Navy without the families and caregivers,” said Commander Navy Installations Command (CNIC) Force Master Chief Steven Timmons, who was on hand this week to cheer on the athletes as well as families and caregivers.

Carolina Dieli, wife of Team Navy athlete Aviation Electrician’s Mate 3rd Class Anthony Dieli, spoke about how great it is to spend time with other caregivers and families of wounded warriors, both at the Games and family support events facilitated by Navy Wounded Warrior-Safe Harbor (NWW-SW), which is administered by CNIC.

“It’s extremely important to have the support of other caregivers, because we all know what each other is going through,” said Mrs. Dieli. “Navy Wounded Warrior– Safe Harbor helps keep us connected, not just here at the Warrior Games but throughout the year.”

Team Navy consists of 40 Sailors and Coast Guardsmen selected during trials in March hosted by NWW-SH program, which provides individually tailored non-medical assistance designed to optimize recovery, rehabilitation and reintegration activities for wounded, injured and ill Sailors and Coast Guardsmen while providing top-notch family support services.

An important aspect of the DOD Warrior Games is the community it builds for wounded warriors and caregivers alike. This community allows them to come together and share in the common bond of walking together on a similar journey.

NWW-SH staff works hard to ensure that families enjoy their time together during the Warrior Games and that the athletes enjoy competing, with as little stress as possible.

“The program helps a lot in getting all the families out here,” said Cliff Tomosada, husband of Team Navy athlete Aviation Electronics Technician 2nd Class Jai Cheon. “They help by organizing flights, hotel rooms, and we really don’t have to lift a finger.”

NWW-SH provides the families and caregivers of wounded warriors with a variety of support services to help make their jobs as caregivers more manageable and alleviate the stress that accompanies a major life change.

“The program has helped us realize that there’s life after active duty and that my husband is still very much a part of the Navy even though he has retired,” said Winnie Laban, wife of Team Navy athlete Utilitiesman 2nd Class Joshua Laban.

Besides providing extensive support services and resources for wounded warriors and their families, the program also provides a connection.

“We feel, as a family, that we are still very much a part of the military family as a whole,” said Mrs. Laban.

The Department of Defense sponsored Warrior Games are hosted this year 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 scheduled to conclude June 30 with a closing ceremony.

For the latest news about the DoD Warrior Games, visit and follow the Team Navy on Navy Wounded Warrior- Safe Harbor’s Facebook page