JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii - "Your display this week of resilience, empowerment and encouragement left us all inspired," said Lt. Col. Clyde L. Hill, commander of Warrior Transition Battalion - Hawaii.
The 2017 Pacific Regional Trials concluded with a ceremony, Nov. 10, at Ford Island, Hawaii overlooking the USS Arizona memorial.
During the week-long competition, about 80 wounded, ill, or injured soldiers and veterans from the Pacific region trained and competed in eight adaptive sporting events at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii: swimming, track, field, shooting, archery, cycling, sitting volleyball and wheelchair basketball.
Top competitors from the regional events will be invited to participate in Army Trials 2018, and from there, have the opportunity to compete and progress to the Department of Defense (DoD) Warrior Games.
"It seems very fitting that we hold the closing ceremony right here at this location, this very historic site," said Hill.
The final resting place of more than 1,100 sailors and marines, the USS Arizona memorial serves as a reminder of those who made the ultimate sacrifice during the attacks on Pearl Harbor, and also of those who continued the fight in our nation's Second World War, a war claiming the lives of over 400,000 Americans and injured many others.
Hill explained, "Today we benefit from the progress of our predecessors. Our generation of service members has access to world-class programs and services that those before us did not. The (Army) Warrior Care and Transition program is one such example."
One of 14 warrior transition units across the country, WTB-Hawaii plays an essential role in supporting wounded, ill, and injured soldiers in the Pacific region by providing mission command and personalized support through a triad of care.
"The Warrior Games serve as a critical component of that mission," added Hill. "They allow our wounded and injured soldiers to demonstrate not just through their physical prowess regained through their hard work and determination, but also their mental and spiritual toughness required to overcome some of the challenges they endure on the daily."
After becoming wounded, ill, or injured, our service members often experience many challenges during recovery and transition, including at least six months of complex medical care.
The Warrior Games and the other adaptive sports competitions, such as Pacific Regional Trials, emphasize the importance of adaptive reconditioning activities in daily recovery.
Service members and veterans who use adaptive sports as part of their rehabilitation process benefit from maintaining active and healthy lifestyles; they develop leadership and camaraderie, and also recognize that recovery is achievable by focusing on ability rather than inability.
During the ceremony, Col. Andrew M. Barr, commander of Tripler Army Medical Center also provided remarks.
"From the stories that we heard this week, what you end up getting is a sense of accomplishment and a sense of resiliency," he said. "Through your effort, through your struggle, through your accomplishments, some of you rebelling in victory with medals, but all of you rebelling in your accomplishments and the ability to finish the race, that's what the Warrior Games are all about."