ALAMEDA, Calif. (KTVU) - About 100 disabled veterans gathered on Coast Guard Island in Alameda for the Valor Games.
"I like to feel like I can do stuff," said Renee Leone moments after she threw the discuss and shot put.
Leone was once a communications officer for the U.S. Navy, but she was mugged in San Diego while on active duty, struck in the head, and woke up with a severe brain injury and difficulty walking.
"I get a lot of suicidal thoughts. It's hard to sit here and feel like you can't do nothing," said Leone.
But she says she has found that sports and competition gets her out of her own head at least for a while.
"The sports help me so I am not thinking about my problems and are just out having fun," she said.
The valor games began seven years ago in Chicago and has since expanded.
For many of these veterans it's the first time they've traveled since they've been injured.
"We've had athletes who haven't gotten out of their house. They haven't been out of their house since they went to the valor games," said Jessica Elix, director of the Valor Games Far West.
Elix also says the valor games helps these vets to learn a new sport which they can practice at home and become more active.
One former airman suffered a stroke while he was in the U.S. Air Force.
"When you sit alone you are alone. But when you compete you are with others going through the same thing," said Ishisake
"Sometimes those thoughts come back. But you just look forward to the next sport," said Leone.
The Valor Games are on through Sunday.