Off Duty

Blake Shelton, Jon Stewart, Kelly Clarkson set to take part in Warrior Games ceremonies

Music superstars Blake Shelton and Kelly Clarkson will perform July 1 at Chicago's Soldier Field to help kick off the 2017 Warrior Games, event organizers announced this week.

The concert will include hourlong sets from both artists and will be emceed by comedian Jon Stewart, who also hosted ceremonies during last year's event at the U.S. Military Academy.

Tickets are on sale for the concert, which will come on the second day of competition. The games, which feature more than 260 active, reserve, retired and former service members in Paralympic-style events, will run through July 8.

"Any time we can all be a part of something that lifts up and shines a light on all of these heroes that are participating is an amazing moment! We need more of these moments!" Clarkson said in the news release announcing the ceremony. "These men and women have put their lives on the line for us and have overcome so much in the process of doing that!"

Soldier Field, home to the NFL's Chicago Bears, won't be the only major venue used during the festivities: The United Center, home of the NBA's Bulls and the NHL's Blackhawks, will host the medal rounds of seated volleyball and wheelchair basketball July 7, with portions of the event broadcast by ESPN.

Closing ceremonies are set for July 8 at the city's Navy Pier.

The Navy is hosting this year's games, which rotate among the services. Last year's games at West Point were the first held at a service academy, and the 2015 games at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, were the first run by the Defense Department; the U.S. Olympic Committee hosted the annual competition in Colorado Springs, Colorado, from 2010 to 2014.

Teams representing the Army, Navy/Coast Guard, Air Force, Marine Corps and U.S. Special Operations Command will participate in this year's event, as will teams from Great Britain and Australia.

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