Yesterday, a group of Wounded Warriors visited the south lawn of the White House to play a game of basketball. Ten Marines arrived from Bethesda Naval Medical Center, donned jerseys, and took some practice layups before the game. As they warmed up, they got pointers from NBA players Greg Monroe and Jeff Green, who came in from Detroit and Boston to show their appreciation for the troops. After a few minutes, the game got underway. It was off to a fast start, but a time-out was called as President Obama walked onto the court.
The President thanked the Marines for the service they had provided and the tremendous sacrifices they had made for their country. He spent some time talking with the Wounded Warriors, and then the group took a picture before the game resumed again.
Wounded Warrior basketball is an important opportunity for injured troops as they return home, according to HM1 Jason Young, a Navy Corpsman who helped organize the game. “What it allows the Wounded Warriors to do is to understand that they can still do some of the stuff that they’ve done before.”
“The guys here all have really great attitudes about everything,” said Corporal Tony Mullis, who played on the Red Team. “They’re not down – that’s why they decided to come here and play basketball at the White House. It’s a great experience.” Mullis was injured by an IED blast while performing combat operations in Afghanistan.
“One of the things I’ve always wanted to do was meet the President,” he added. “It was awesome.”
Ten Wounded Warriors were able to come to the White House yesterday, but all veterans and their families deserve our thanks and our support. To find out what you can do to pitch in, check out joiningforces.gov.
Darienne Page is Assistant Director of the Office of Public Engagement.