TAMPA, Fla. — The Department of Defense (DoD) Warrior Games is underway here in Tampa Bay. The event features approximately 300 wounded, ill and injured service members and veterans competing across 14 adaptive sports.
"Being here has given me a chance to show that we don't have to be defined by our injuries,” said U.S. Army Retired Staff Sergeant Beth King.
There's a unique camaraderie among the 300 athletes competing in the warrior games.
"When you get to compete against other females who are fighting the same sort of battles,” said UK Armed Forces Retired Cpl. Caroline Buckle.
Maybe even more so among a particular group because only a fraction here are women.
"When we're from all over the world, it's really, really special to come together,” said Buckle.
Buckle is a para power weightlifter, a cyclist and a force. Buckle is one of 70 women competing.
"I think all females are showing that. They're giving it their all,” she said.
That's the case for Lisa McCranie, a retired U.S. Air Force pilot who's the only woman on her team in wheelchair rugby.
"I have respect for everyone I'm competing with and the women put it up. We are here to compete and it doesn't matter your gender,” said McCranie.
That fierce competition is just a glimpse of how these veterans and active-duty military athletes give their events 100%.
"Technically, we don't compete against the men but I love looking at the results and seeing where I stack up against them,” said U.S. Army Retired Staff Sergeant Beth King
And how they give life the same.
"We all came here to show our heart and our work,” said McCranie.