By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Katherine Hofman, Chief of Naval Personnel Public Affairs
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (NNS) -- United States servicemembers and British armed forces members totaling more than 200, opened the 2012 Warrior Games at the U.S. Olympics Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., April 30.
The 2012 Warrior Games opening ceremony began with the presentation of colors by NORAD-USNORTHCOM Joint Color Guard followed by the athlete processional. The warrior athletes walked the Olympic path while family and friends cheered. Following the processional was the symbolic tradition of carrying the Olympic flame.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (April 30, 2012) Retired Army veteran Melissa Stockwell, from Chicago, lights the cauldron to start the 2012 Warrior Games in Colorado Springs, Colo. More than 200 wounded, ill or injured service members from the U.S. and British armed forces are scheduled to compete in the Paralympics-style competition, May 1-5. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class David Danals/Released)
Representing team Navy/Coast Guard as torchbearers were retired Coast Guard Lt. Sancho Johnson and retired Navy Master-at-Arms 3rd Class Nathan DeWalt.
Johnson, a three-time competitor in the Warrior Games, understands the honor and commitment it is to himself and his teammates to represent the team and the Coast Guard as torch-bearer.
"[The Warrior Games] provides a platform to give your best," said Johnson. "Because I'm representing the team I'm going to give a bit more."
Having participated in the Warrior Games since the inaugural year, DeWalt has seen the games grow in popularity and has realized the impact being part of the 2012 Team Navy/Coast Guard had on the community and families.
"I felt honored and privileged to represent the team," said DeWalt. "It is a big event for the families with all the media attention."