The 2017 Warrior Games kicked off this month at Soldier Field in Chicago with a Super Hornet flyover, parachuting team, celebrity selfies and concert. But these were no match for when 265 wounded, ill and injured athletes marched into the stadium to a thunderous reception from the crowd of over 20,000.
Boeing Chairman, President and CEO Dennis Muilenburg attended the event, which was emceed by former Daily Show host Jon Stewart, and provided remarks. Boeing is a co-presenting sponsor of the Warrior Games, being held for the first time outside of a military installation since its inception in 2010.
Teams representing all U.S. military branches as well as the UK Armed Forces and Australian Defence Force are participating in eight Olympic type events. The games feature nearly 300 service members and veterans with upper-body, lower-body and spinal cord injuries; traumatic brain injuries; visual impairment; serious illness; and post-traumatic stress. They compete in eight Olympic-style sports including cycling, track and field, swimming and wheelchair basketball.
“The competitors who made it to the Warrior Games are not only distinguished athletes but true heroes who have defended freedom around the world,” said Boeing Director of Veterans Outreach and Medal of Honor recipient Flo Groberg. “Their courage, sacrifice and unwavering pride in their service to country are powerful motivators for us here at Boeing.”
Prior to the Opening Ceremonies, Groberg helped present grants totaling $600,000 to three military-focused nonprofits including Yellow Ribbon Fund, Disabled Sports USA and Team Red, White and Blue, which all provide recovery, transition and rehabilitation support to veterans across the country. The funds were raised as part of the recent Boeing Moves the World well-being initiative, which involved more than 60,000 Boeing employees from around the world.
By Jason Capeheart and Kim Kierstead