FORT BLISS, Texas -- After a long day of travel and little time to recuperate, Soldiers and Veterans from coast-to-coast received a warm welcome to kick off the U.S. Army Warrior Care and Transition Army Trials, hosted at Fort Bliss, Texas, Mar. 28. Competition takes place April 2-6.

Nearly 80 ill and injured active-duty Soldiers and Army Veteran athletes are here training to earn a spot on Team Army. The ultimate goal for these competitors is to participate in the 2017 Department of Defense Warrior Games, June 30 -- July 8 in Chicago, Illinois. They will display their skill in adaptive sports including archery, cycling, shooting, sitting volleyball, swimming, track and field, and wheelchair basketball.

Command Sgt. Maj. Matthew Unger, Warrior Transition Unit, William Beaumont Army Medical Center, provided common sense advice to athletes, staff and cadre, visiting El Paso, Texas. "I know why I'm here, you all have to know your 'why'," said Unger. He went on to say it was an honor and a privilege to serve them while they are working to accomplish their goals.

Athletes became familiar with the many assets at their disposal while participating in the trials. Resilience experts, mental skills coaches, mentors from previous games and nutritionists are on hand to keep the Soldier-athletes in top form. Mr. Losefa Liufau, Regional Health Command-Pacific, Warrior Transition Organization, Operation Specialist, summed up the essence of the support mission, telling the collected audience, "We're not here for your disabilities; we're here for your abilities."

Warrior Care and Transition equips wounded, ill and injured Soldiers with the capability to return to duty or to prepare for veteran status. Army Warrior Care's whole-Soldier approach is a crucial part of the pact by which the Army fulfills its duty to those citizens who heed the call to serve.

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