Wounded Veterans Find Recovery In Communal Sports Teams
May 20, 2015
At Eglin Air Force base in Florida, there is not only opportunity for camaraderie among veterans but also competition. Dozens of injured airmen are preparing to compete in the upcoming Wounded Warrior Games, which will be held at the Marine Corps Base in Quantico, Virginia, June 19-28. There, 200 armed service veterans will compete in eight different sporting events. The games will feature five U.S. teams representing the Army, Marine Corps, Navy/Coast Guard, Air Force, Special Operations, as well as a team competing for the British Armed Forces. The first Wounded Warrior Games were played in 2010.
Transitioning back to civilian life after serving in the armed forces is often very difficult, and, of course, even more so if the soldier sustained a life-changing injury while serving. According to Rebecca Ruiz, a contributor to "Forbes" magazine, as of last December, "more than 900,000 service men and women had been treated at Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals and clinics since returning from war zones in Iraq and Afghanistan." These numbers include all injuries, both physical and mental, that were sustained during the most recent war. There is no question that there is a large number of veterans who need support transitioning to what many call the "new normal."