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Dempsey lauds Warrior Games competitors, families

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AFNS) -- The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff lauded wounded warriors, their families and sponsors Oct. 4, for their participation in the 2014 Warrior Games competition.

Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey praised competitors during the final live broadcast of DOD News’ “Adaptive Warrior,” just before the Air Force and Navy football game at the Air Force Academy’s Falcon Stadium.

“I’m looking out at that crowd of the warriors and their families and the support agencies, and you know, it’s not a cliché to say how proud we are of them,” he said.

“We’re humbled by the recognition of their sacrifices,” Dempsey said, “(and) what they’ve done to overcome some of the wounds that they suffered.”

The chairman said the Warrior Games are a “great example of some of public-private sponsorship or partnership.”

Dempsey said he was happy to represent the Joint Chiefs of Staff and praised the U.S. Olympic Committee and sponsors for their support and sponsorship of the Warrior Games.

“I think that’s what it’s going to take to get us through our uncertain and unpredictable (fiscal) future,” he said.

Dempsey also explained the benefit of military adaptive sport programs.

“One of the things that, maybe, the American people are not as familiar with as we are,” he said, “is … (that) our work on prosthetics, traumatic brain injury, medical evacuation has actually had a beneficial effect, not just for our servicemen and women, and their families, the American people at large.”

Dempsey said he hopes to maintain the advances in the military health system developed during more than a decade of war.

“I think we need to keep that even, hopefully, as conflicts diminish and we’re not suffering so many wounds,” he said, “we can make sure we’re don’t lose those skill sets because at some point we’ll need them.”

Dempsey reaffirmed the Joint Chiefs’ commitment to supporting programs that benefit America’s wounded service members and their families, such as the Warrior Games.

“As I said, I represent the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and I think what you can count on from us is continued support for these kinds of programs,” he said.

“When we ask young men and women to go into harm’s way,” Dempsey said, “and we ask their families to support us, then we owe them support for life.”

“That’s our commitment to you,” the chairman said. “I want to thank, again, those service organizations and corporations who have helped us make these games a reality.”

We’re proud not only of the athletes and their families, but the sponsors as well, Dempsey added.