But just because they were hurt in combat doesn't mean these veterans can't compete.
Winning the race doesn't always mean being the fastest.
"I think now I'm more active than I was before when I could walk," says Naval Officer, Nathan Dewlat, who was hit by a taxi shortly before he was set to deploy overseas.
The loss of his legs hasn't slowed the Pennsylvania native down.
"It's kind of been a blessing in disguise really thought because it's brought me a lot more opportunities than I probably would have had otherwise," Dewlat says.
Dewlat was one of several Navy Safe Harbor athletes competing Saturday at Penn State, alongside some of the best collegiate track and field athletes around.
"It's great. It brings motivation day in and day out," Joseph Frank, of Navy Safe Harbor, says.
The group was training in conjunction with the Penn State Sykes-Sabock Chalange Cup track meet for the upcoming Warrior games
"I think it gives me a sense of focus," Navy Safe Harbor participant, Christopher Marsh says.
"We're a family. We train together, we plan together, it creates a bond that you can really only understand if you're a part of it," Dewlat adds. "It's amazing."
The venture between Penn State and Navy Safe Harbor is one of the first between the military organization and a college athletic department.