Chicago, Illinois - Commander, Navy Installations Command (CNIC), Vice Adm. Dixon Smith, visited Chicago landmarks including Navy Pier and Soldier Field to celebrate Veterans Day 2016.
Smith, as the keynote speaker at Navy Pier, emphasized the importance of veterans' contributions in the workforce while also promoting the 2017 Department of Defense (DoD) Warrior Games to be held in Chicago next summer.
"Our veterans are the bedrock of our nation. It is a privilege to be here today to celebrate those men and women who have served in the greatest fighting forces this world has ever seen."
Later Smith spoke at the mayor's Soldier Field event to announce the Warrior Games' presenting sponsors.
"I'm proud to present our sponsors Boeing and Fisher House Foundation as they have been part of many Navy projects," said Smith.
During both events Smith shared how the Games' showcase the benefits of adaptive sports.
Smith spoke of a recent experience riding a tandem bicycle with wounded warrior, A.J. Mohammed, whose service in the Navy left him visually impaired.
"He left me in awe with his abilities," said Smith. "I'm proud he's competing in our 2017 DoD Warrior Games."
Smith, along with other high profile speakers, also emphasized the true dedication and contributions of veterans.
U.S. Senator-elect and Operation Iraqi Freedom combat-wounded veteran, Tammy Duckworth, said of the veterans in the audience,
"I have made you all my life's work because I think about the day I was injured, said Duckworth. "It's because of my battle buddies, all of you, have saved my life."
Chicago Mayor, Rahm Emanuel spoke of commitment remarking
"America is not just a place. It's a set of ideas and values that we have fought for and continue to fight for. Today is a day we honor the one percent that have served in the armed forces. Today is the day we say, 'thank you.'"
Smith added, "Today we pay homage to the brave men and women who have served and are serving our country."
The DoD Warrior Games will be held June 30 through July 8, 2017.