As Secretary of Defense, I frequently visit with our wounded warriors as they recover in military medical centers around the world. I come away inspired and motivated by their sacrifice and their spirit. In many cases, I am meeting with these extraordinary young men and women only days after they have been wounded in combat. At this early stage, they have a hard time imagining ever competing again in an athletic event.
Those of you participating in these Warrior Games show what is possible with grit and perseverance. In this regard, you truly are role models, not only for those recovering from wounds and injuries, but for all service members and veterans working to overcome obstacles in their lives.
These games are a reminder to me, and the nation we serve, that the American soldier, sailor, airman and marine is not to be underestimated. Your strength and determination have helped you overcome your injuries and made it possible for you to be here today.
I am tremendously impressed by what you have accomplished already in your recovery, and I am extremely proud of your participation in these Warrior Games. Thank you for your service and good luck in the competition.