NORFOLK -- 70 Navy and Coast Guard Wounded Warriors are competing in adaptive sports games taking place this week throughout Hampton Roads.
It's the 2014 Navy Wounded Warrior/Safe Harbor Team Navy Trials. Current and former active duty personnel injured in the line of duty and those who were otherwise medically stricken are participating. The athletes say training for the event has changed their lives.
"It's amazing to be able to have the opportunity to get with other people that are experiencing the same things you're going though," said Jeannette Tarqueno. "Most people don't really understand what you're going though so you get to feel like you're around family."
Others agree. "I'm together with a group of guys that know where I've been, what's going on, how I feel," Brett Parks said. "there's a lot of
other amputees here, and when we come together we can commiserate if you will, or, just understand what we're going through."
Navy leaders say it's their honor to try to help these heroes heal.
"We've got a responsibility, we being society, have a responsibility to take care of them and nurture them back to health," said Rear Admiral Dixon Smith, Commander U.S. Navy Mid-Atlantic Region.
About 40 of the participating athletes will be selected to advance to world-wide competitions in Colorado Springs and London.