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A show of appreciation

Published 9:41pm Monday, May 13, 2013

Making the transition from active-duty military service can be challenging under the best of circumstances. Making that transition during wartime is even harder. Learning how to cope with a debilitating combat injury or sickness can be overwhelming and depressing for members of America’s military services.

Sadly, such circumstances are just the ones many American troops have returned to since we began engaging an enemy that specializes in roadside improvised explosive devices that have left many thousands of troops missing limbs or otherwise injured. Some of those troops, as well as others who received no physical injuries, come home with emotional scars that take a long time to heal.

These are the nation’s wounded warriors, and they deserve our fullest attention toward helping them overcome the problems of re-integrating into American society and learning how to adjust to their special physical and emotional challenges.

A group of British and American service members is involved in a competition this week — the Warrior Games — at Colorado Springs, Colo., that aims to give them a chance to prove to other wounded veterans that they can be active, and even competitive, even with life-altering physical and emotional challenges.

Seated volleyball, swimming, track and field, shooting, wheelchair basketball — there is a large variety of sporting events on display during the games, which are being held this week, and Suffolk native Monica Southall is one of those participating in the event.

A bit closer to home, this weekend nearly four dozen wounded warriors will jump from airplanes in the skies above Suffolk as part of the third annual “Spring Boogie” at Skydive Suffolk, an event that is expected to draw up to 2,000 people, who will head out to the airport for a little entertainment, some good food and the chance to meet and show their appreciation to those who have sacrificed so much to serve their nation.

It’s a worthy event for a group of people worthy of so much more than this.

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