Thursday, June 16, 2016

Warrior Games Begin With Tribute to Vietnam Veterans

DoD Warrior Games Begin With Torch Lighting, Vietnam Vets Tribute
Department of Defense
By Shannon Collins DoD News, Defense Media Activity
June 16, 2016

“On behalf of myself and all of my fellow wounded warriors, we would like to thank you for your service and the service of all Vietnam veterans.” Ret. Army Sgt. 1st Class Howard Sanborn
Army Capt. Kelly Elmlinger lights the 2016 Department of Defense Warrior Games torch during opening ceremonies for the games at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y., June 15, 2016. DoD photo by EJ Hersom
WEST POINT, N.Y., June 16, 2016 — The 2016 Department of Defense Warrior Games began yesterday evening when Army Capt. Kelly Elmlinger, with help from comedian Jon Stewart, lit the official torch during the event’s opening ceremonies at the U.S. Military Academy here.

“Being selected to light the torch is as much an honor and privilege as competing for Team Army,” Elmlinger said. “Finishing my Warrior Games career as Team Army captain and lighting the torch at the opening ceremony is by far the most amazing experience. It’s humbling to see the support from the Warrior Transition Command throughout my time on Team Army, and I graciously thank them for allowing me to participate as torch bearer in this event.”

About 250 wounded, ill and injured service members and veterans representing teams from the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Coast Guard, Air Force, U.S. Special Operations Command and United Kingdom armed forces will compete in shooting, archery, cycling, track and field, swimming, sitting volleyball and wheelchair basketball here until June 21.

“People ask me, ‘How do you talk to your kids about violence that occurs in this world?’” he said. “And I realized it’s time to stop telling him about the rare individuals who do harm and tell him more about the people whose names we don’t know and whose resilience and tenacity we can witness. That’s why I’m here today. I’m here to show him that the depth and strength of those whose names you may never know is the depth and strength of this country, and is the depth and strength that will allow us to overcome.” Jon Stewart
Go Air Force! Comedian Jon Stewart poses for a photograph with the Air Force team before the opening ceremony of the 2016 Warrior Games at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y., June 15, 2016. DoD photo by EJ Hersom

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