Invictus Games, Track & Field

2014 London Invictus Games

Last week, I received an email from the White House —yes, the place where the President of these United States resides — from a White House staff member requesting a meeting—with me!! We discussed my being a part of the presidential delegation for the upcoming Invictus Games on May 8-12, 2016. A presidential delegation is appointed by the White House when the President is invited to an affair but is unable to attend. I was among those considered to make up this presidential delegation, led by First Lady Obama!

Started by Prince Harry (also a combat veteran), in 2014, the Invictus Games as noted on its website, is an international sporting event for wounded, ill, and injured Service men and women – both active duty and veteran. Athletes from 15 countries will be participating in the Games this year, which will be held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. I am beyond excited to be a part of this!

Yesterday, I received the official invitation from the White House staff member to be a part of the Presidential delegation at this event. Me… a military caregiver?! For years, the efforts of military caregivers, those standing alongside a veteran or service member injured, wounded, or ill as a result of service, have gone unnoticed. Yet, this is beginning to change. I am grateful for organizations, such as the Elizabeth Dole Foundation, that are raising awareness of what we as military caregivers sacrifice, need, and do without in caring for our loved ones. The opportunity to join the First Lady and others in supporting the Invictus Games as one of the millions of military caregivers is an incredible honor.

First Lady Michelle Obama participates in a photo line prior to the Opening Ceremonies of the 2016 Invictus Games at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida, May 8, 2016.

First Lady Michelle Obama participates in a photo line prior to the Opening Ceremonies of the 2016 Invictus Games at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida, May 8, 2016. The Invictus Games is an international adaptive sporting event for wounded, injured, and ill service members and veterans. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)
This photograph is provided by THE WHITE HOUSE as a courtesy and may be printed by the subject(s) in the photograph for personal use only. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not otherwise be reproduced, disseminated or broadcast, without the written permission of the White House Photo Office. This photograph may not be used in any commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House. Consistent with these restrictions, a commercial printer may produce print(s) of the photograph for the subject(s) personal use.

My hope is that my husband, along with other wounded warriors, will witness the resilience and determination of the athletes participating in the Invictus Games; that they will regain the hope and restore the possibilities that they will live fully once again; and that they can indeed experience their own personal victory, despite the tragedy of having being wounded in war.

At these Invictus Games, I as a military caregiver will also be honored to stand with First Lady Obama, and with a team that represents this great nation. Caregivers, our sacrifices are noticed. Our soldiers and loved ones are not forgotten. And neither are those that care— the military caregivers.

 

 

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