WATCH: Wounded warriors explain what Independence Day means to them

Handout: U.S. Navy

CHICAGO (US NAVY) — This 4th of July, Team Navy wounded warrior athletes are explaining what Independence Day means to them.

They’re among 39 athletes who are competing on behalf of Team Navy in the annual Department of Defense Warrior Games – an event that introduces wounded, ill, and injured service members and veterans to Paralympic-style sports. Approximately 225 service members and veterans from the U.S. military, as well as the United Kingdom and Australia are competing until July 8 in Chicago.

The Navy, in partnership with the city of Chicago, is hosting this year’s event, which marks the first time the DoD Warrior Games have been held off a military installation. The Games demonstrate the incredible potential of wounded warriors through competitive sports and provides a tremendous healing power for athletes. The competition provides a means to inspire recovery, support rehabilitation, and generate a wider understanding and respect of those who serve their country.

Team Navy is comprised of athletes from Navy Wounded Warrior – Safe Harbor, the Navy’s sole organization for coordinating the non-medical care of seriously wounded, ill, and injured Sailors and Coast Guard members, providing resources and support to their families.

This story is a handout provided by the U.S. Navy.

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