‘Young men and women putting ability over disability’ 

Karen Parrish

American Forces Press Service

The network of people, government and private organizations that tends to America’s wounded, injured and ill service members has achieved results over the last decade that are "absolutely remarkable," the nation’s top military officer told an audience in Washington recently.

Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, spoke at a "Heroes of Military Medicine" event hosted by the Center for Public-Private Partnerships at the Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine.

"I do find heroes and military medicine to be a little redundant. Actually, every time we think they can’t do more for us, they step up and find it," he said.

Dempsey noted, he also attended the opening ceremonies for the 2012 Warrior Games in Colorado Springs, Colo.

The games, which continue through May 5, are a series of Olympic-style events in which wounded, ill and injured service members of all services, along with veterans, compete in archery, cycling, shooting, sitting volleyball, swimming, track and field and wheelchair basketball.

The Warrior Games, created in 2010, are a combined effort of the U.S. Olympic Committee and the Defense Department.

The games are notable because of the courage of the competitors, who Dempsey said are "young men and women putting ability over disability."

He said attending both the games and the "heroes of medicine" gathering in the same week highlighted for him the connection between today’s service members, who survive combat injuries at rates never before seen, and the medical establishment that makes their survival possible.

"What I want you to know…is how much we, who wear the uniform today, appreciate what everyone is doing to pull together in the common cause of making sure that the young men and women who put themselves in harm’s way are cared for," Dempsey said.