COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Army News Service, May 23, 2011) -- The 2011 Warrior Games came to a close Saturday at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., with awards and a free concert.
The stands at the basketball stadium at the U.S. Air Force Academy were packed with fans and family of athletes, while the athletes themselves sat in front of a stage on the court. Everyone was treated to a highlight reel of the games over the course of the week, and the Ultimate Champion was declared. Marine Capt. Jonathan Disbro took that prize.
Army Chief of Staff Gen. Martin E. Dempsey spoke during the closing ceremonies, praising the athletes for their accomplishments and thanking their families.
Dempsey said he believes that sports and athleticism give wounded servicememebers something to focus on.
"Besides being physically important for them, I think it's mentally important for them, too," Dempsey said. "But make no mistake about it, these games are important, not just for the wounded warriors, but for us, because we all have to heal from the wounds that we have suffered as a force, as a whole."
Dempsey thinks that the Warrior Games, and the care the Army gives the wounded throughout the year, are a reflection of trust that the Army will live up to its responsibilities to those that have served at the nation's request.
"There has to be some physical manifestation of that trust and I think these games are part of that," he said.
After the awards ceremony, American pop singer Colbie Callait took the stage for a free concert, courtesy of the USO.
The 2011 Warrior Games, a joint effort between the U.S. Olympic Committee and the U.S. Department of Defense, is sponsored by Deloitte. For more information, see www.usparalympics.org/warriorgames .