We here at Wreaths Across America are rarely at a loss for words especially when it comes to remembering our fallen, honoring those who serve and teaching younger generations the value of freedom.
It's been difficult however to find suitable words powerful enough to adequately describe what we were able to witness recently while volunteering for the 2016 DoD Warrior Games at West Point.
Uplifting and inspirational are good descriptors to start with, then add courage and determination to finish what was started.
The same exceptional character traits that make a dedicated soldier make an accomplished athlete willing to lay it all on the line and fight with gut and stamina to bring home a win for the team.
In the case of the DoD Warrior Games it was men and women from all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces, United Kingdom Armed Forces, and U.S. Special Operations Command; men and women who served our nation once, and do so again by serving as role models for others teaching lessons of courage, resiliency, and acceptance.
"The greatest thing the Warrior Games has given me is self-confidence and valuable lessons for my daughter," explains Army Captain Kelly Elmlinger, who competed in her third and final DoD Warrior Games events this year. "My daughter doesn't look at my friends and me any differently because of our disabilities. All she knows is prosthetics and wheelchairs since I've been diagnosed. You know, no legs, no arms it doesn't matter to her."
Wreaths Across America was honored to donate water for the games and volunteer to shuttle athletes and their families to various destinations on the West Point campus.
We captured some of the competitions and closing ceremonies. Here are a few video highlights.
Good luck to all the athletes as they work to qualify for the DoD 2017 Warrior Games to be hosted by the Navy in Chicago!