By Terri Moon Cronk
DoD News, Defense Media Activity
WASHINGTON, Nov. 20, 2014 - Honoring wounded, ill and injured warriors with a month-long recognition is "hugely important," Jessica L. Garfola Wright, undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, said today.
Speaking at the inaugural Warrior Care Month Rehabilitation Expo in the Pentagon -- which highlighted resources for wounded, ill and injured warriors and their families, such as art and sculpting therapy and adaptive sports -- Wright told the audience this year's theme, "Show in Strength," is something the Defense Department demonstrates in many ways.
Numerous wounded warriors attended the expo to talk to visitors about how the therapeutic approach they chose helped in their recovery process.
Warrior Care Month is very personal to her, Wright said.
"[DoD senior leadership] has gone to the Invictus and Warrior games for the wounded, ill and injured," she said. "Often times, we're there to support these service members but [those] who get the big benefit are people like me who see their courage and resilience."
Rather than display disabilities, what these warriors show is a change in lifestyle, she said, adding, "They are amazing individuals who give back to us every day."
Sometimes people are afraid to talk to a wounded warrior, Wright noted, and she urged the audience to approach and engage them.
"They are amazing people. I learn from them and they warm my heart every single time [I see them]," she said. "They give me the courage to keep on doing what I do."