2019 DoD Warrior Games Conclude, Next One In San Antonio
by Joseph Jones, Madigan Army Medical Center Public Affairs
In the Amalie arena on the evening of June 30, hundreds of
supporters, fans, and the families of wounded, ill and injured
service members and veterans competing in the Department of Defense
2019 Warrior Games anxiously awaited the Department of Defense
Warrior Games closing ceremony to begin. For most, the commencement
of the closing ceremonies is bittersweet. For some, like the
participating athletes, it marks the triumphant milestone of a
Each participant in the 2019 DoD
Warrior Games has had to overcome some form of extraordinary
adversity, conquer their own specific challenges, and in many cases
recover from what they may have been told was unrecoverable. For
these brave athletes, the commencement of Warrior Games signifies
defying all odds, no matter how insurmountable they may have seemed
to be in the past.
June 30, 2019 - U.S. Military
service members and veterans receives the award for Ultimate
Champion at the Amalie Arena in Tampa, FL. The Department of
Defense Warrior Games are conducted June 21-20, hosted by
Special Operations Command, Tampa, Florida. It is an
adaptive sport competition for wounded, ill, and injured
service members and veterans. Approximately 300 athletes
representing teams from Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force,
Special Operations Command, United Kingdom Armed Forces,
Australian Defense Force, Canadian Armed Forces, Armed
Forces of the Netherlands, and the Danish Armed Forces will
compete in archery, cycling, shooting, sitting volleyball,
swimming, track, field, wheelchair basketball, indoor
rowing, powerlifting, and for the first time in Warrior
Games history, golf, wheelchair tennis, and wheelchair
rugby. (U.S. Army Photo by Spc. Evens Milcette Jr.)
To properly close out the Warrior Games, actor, comedian,
producer, and activist Jon Stewart, returned to host the closing
ceremony. Stewart gave a heartfelt dedication to recently deceased
9/11 responder, activist, and former Marine Lou Alvarez as he told
the Warrior Games athletes how much their dedication inspires
others. “As I watch you all together, the camaraderie, the teamwork,
the family that you form, it inspires me and it reminds me of my
friend Lou Alvarez, and my friend Ray Pfeifer and what they fought
for, and I will always have your back, and I will always have their
backs, because I know you guys will always have my back and have
your communities backs,” Steward remarked.
U.S. Army General
Richard D. Clarke, Commanding General, United States Special
Operations Command, MacDill, Air Force Base, also spoke at the
closing ceremony. “I believe not only has Warrior Games saved our
warriors lives, but it has saved families and strengthened our
families. To all of our families, thank you very much. Our athletes,
you have inspired us, we watched you in hundreds of competitions, we
watched you get knocked down, we watched you get back up, we watched
you laugh, we watched you cry, these were some incredible games,”
said Clarke. “It has been an absolute honor for SOCOM to sponsor
these games, so thank you,” Clarke added.
The coveted "Heart
of the Team" Award goes to one member on each team whose teammates
collectively felt best embodied the spirit of the DoD Warrior Games.
Each team votes internally to select the recipient of the award.
Prior to the presentation of this accolade during the closing
ceremony, the chosen recipient is unaware that their teammates have
selected them to receive the honor. The 2019 recipient of the “Heart
of the Team” Award for Team Army was U.S. Army retired Staff Sgt.
Matthew Lammers of Fairmont, North Carolina.
Members of Team
Army also collected 2 of 3 coveted “Ultimate Champion” medals. To
earn the Ultimate Champion title, athletes must compete in their
respective functional classifications in eight sporting events.
There are two slots allotted to each service branch for the
prestigious honor. Ultimate Champion athletes earn points based on
their individual results in the events. The Ultimate Champion is the
athlete who earned the most points in the eight sporting events.
Retired Staff Sgt. Ross Alewine, of Williamston, South Carolina,
was awarded the Bronze Ultimate Champion medal, and Capt. Casey
Turner, of Fort Bragg, North Carolina, was awarded the Silver
Ultimate Champion medal.
Also revealed during the closing
ceremony, followed by a concert from multi-platinum singer Sara
Evans, was the official announcement of the hosting destination of
the upcoming 2020 DoD Warrior Games: San Antonio, Texas.
2019 DoD Warrior Games were held from June 21-30 in Tampa Bay,
Florida. The athletes who participated in the competition are
comprised of wounded, ill and injured service members and veterans
representing the U. S. Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and
Special Operations Command. Athletes from the United Kingdom Armed
Forces, Australian Defence Force, Canadian Armed Forces, Armed
Forces of the Netherlands, and the Danish Armed Forces also competed
in this year's DoD Warrior Games.
information about the 2019 DoD Warrior Games |