What brings us together

On Sunday evening, we had the honor of watching the Warrior Games at the OTC in Colorado Springs. I try not to use the word “honor” lightly, but to watch those heroes out on the court playing various sports was an honor in every sense of the word. Everyone out on the court had received a Purple Heart and many of them had lost at least one limb.

After the National Anthem, during which many of those service members with only one leg jumped out of their wheelchairs and stood, I made a point of looking around the packed stadium. What I saw was in some ways was just as inspirational as those men and women on the court.

Wives, husbands, fathers, mothers and children were all there cheering on their loved ones. I can not fathom what those families had gone through over the last several years. Getting that horrifying call that the person they loved the most had been seriously injured and would like never be the same. The intensive recovery that I am sure tore at the very fabric of their relationships. And then living with the “new” reality of their lives.

Regardless of this all, there they all were in a gym watching sports being played. I know I have talked before about the beauty of sport, but what we all saw was palpable. Much of the worry of their lives was forgotten, if only for a few hours. Fathers were cheering on their children, in much the same way that I am sure they did when they were in Little League. Mothers and wives were there, giving up their Mothers’ Day, watching those they love have fun and simply play sport. Children were looking at their fathers and mothers like the heroes that they are.

I think there is nowhere else other than in sports where all this can happen in one venue. Everyone was brought together to support these men and women and to momentarily get back to the innocence of childhood, before a war made it all so complicated for these men and women.

It was truly an honor to just be in the same arena as them and take it all in. To the men and women who have sacrificed so much for our freedom, thank you. And to the families, thank you for being there for the true heroes in our society.