First Lady Michelle Obama paid tribute to over 200 wounded servicemen at the opening ceremony for the third annual Wounded Warrior Games held in Colorado Springs.
The Wounded Warrior Games is a six-day sports competition for active-duty soldiers and veterans put on by the U.S. Olympic Committee. Teams compete for medals in basketball, track and field, archery, cycling, swimming and other events to represent their military branch for the Chairman's Cup.
(Click over to the Colorado Springs Gazette for a slideshow of First Lady Michelle Obama attending the opening ceremony of the Wounded Warrior Games)
Flag-bearers for the event this year are First Lieutenant (Ret.) Melissa Stockwell of the U.S. Army, the first female injured in the Iraq War who also represented the U.S. at the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing and Captain Simon Maxwell of the Royal Marines.
Captain Maxwell is a member of the British Armed Forces team that, for the first time this year, sent an 18-member contingent to compete alongside their American counterparts.
Mrs. Obama said during the ceremony that one of the best parts of being first lady is meeting with military members and their families as part of her and Dr. Jill Biden's "Joining Forces" campaign.
The campaign rallies Americans to help military families in terms of employment, healthcare and education.
"I get to see your strength and your determination," she said of her visits. "I get to see that up close, firsthand, as you tell me that you're not just going to walk again, but you're going to run and you're going to run marathons. That's what I hear."
Also in attendance was the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. Martin Dempsey.
"For me, these games embody the enduring resilience of our profession," Dempsey said. "Your commitment to teamwork and dedication to persevere at these games are the very same qualities that led you to serve our nation. Those qualities don't go away."
The Warrior Games will run through May 5 with a concluding ceremony at the Air Force Academy.