By Duncan Mackay

US Paralympics logoJanuary 18 - A new television advert has been launched by US Paralympics and the United States Department of Veterans Affairs encouraging injured veterans with physical disabilities to take-up sport.

The public service announcement is titled "Mission ReDefined" and has the strapline "get back in the game".

It stars Navy veteran Michael Johnston, who was injured in 2003 after he was hit by a car while on his motorcycle, losing his lower left leg, and has now set his sights on competing in the triathlon at Rio 2016 when the sport makes its debut on the Paralympic programme.

The 29-year-old won the 2011 US title in the Tri-5 category and stars in the advert running on a prosthetic leg.

"One of the greatest needs in this nation, whether it's for youth with disabilities or for injured veterans, is awareness about physical activity programmes for people with physical disabilities," explained Charlie Huebner, chief of US Paralympics.

Christopher Nowak, Veteran's Affairs director of National Veterans Sports Programmes and Special Events, is in charge of the "Mission Redefined" campaign.

Mission Redefined video  Michael Johnston, who hopes to compete for the United States in the triathlon, at Rio 2016, stars in the new Mission ReDefined campaign

Nowak, a Marine Corps Veteran who lost his right leg while serving, started work on the campaign in 2011.

"We're redefining our mission on how we deliver adaptive sports to veterans as well as sporting opportunities," he said.

"And also we're using the campaign for veterans.

"There's an opportunity to redefine their mission in life. 

"They've been through a traumatic injury and this is an opportunity for them to use sports to redefine their mission.

"What we hope with this campaign is that veterans understand that after a traumatic injury life is not over.

"It may seem like it, they all go through it, as well as I did.

"You go through a certain phase in your life after your injury.

"But something clicks in" to get them back on track, he said, and sports can be a giant part of that process."

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