Memorial Day a time to honor heroes, celebrate freedom

Memorial_Day_Saturday_039A message from Mrs. Donna Seymour, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Warrior Care Policy

For many, Memorial Day is a time to gather with friends and family, welcome summer, fire up the grill and relax.  The Memorial Day holiday is also a perfect time to get outdoors and be active. I hope you enjoy yourself, safely!

Most of all Memorial Day is a time to remember and honor the heroic men and women who gave their lives in serving and protecting our country and freedoms.  Though I have been with the Office of Warrior Care Policy for only a short time, I am so proud to be connected to the mission of caring for our Service members who become wounded, ill or injured, as well as their families.

I am truly in awe of the things these men and women are able to achieve.  I recently returned from the Warrior Games in Colorado Springs, where I saw first-hand the grit, determination and perseverance our recovering Service members possess.  I saw a Marine Corps triple amputee rule the wheelchair basketball court, an Army Colonel with a spinal cord injury claim three gold medals in the pool, and a member of the Navy/Coast Guard team compete in five sports for the coveted Ultimate Champion award just a year after a she suffered a severe head and brain injury.  I congratulate all the athletes who competed in the Warrior Games and wish them well as they continue to recover.

I also thank their families for participating in the Warrior Games and for all they do every day. They are heroes, too!

In addition to the more than 200 warrior athletes who competed this month, there are thousands of recovering wounded, ill and injured Service members throughout the world achieving equally remarkable things.  I am proud of the work we do to help them recover, rehabilitate and excel in their “new normal.”

I hope in the midst of your celebration and relaxation with friends and family, that you also set aside a few moments to remember and thank our Armed Forces heroes.  And, though Memorial Day will come to an end, our work supporting recovering Service members will continue!  June is PTSD Awareness Month. Please continue to visit us here, as well as at and and for valuable information and resources about this critical issue.