SOURCE: Help Hospitalized Veterans

Help Hospitalized Veterans

May 20, 2010 18:23 ET

Aging Veterans Use Sports and Recreation to Combat Disability Blues

WINCHESTER, CA--(Marketwire - May 20, 2010) -  Aging veterans often face physical challenges due to disability. For some, it's on a daily basis. But starting May 26, for five full days, hundreds of veterans will get the chance to forget about their disabilities, focus on their abilities and play the sport or game they've been training for all year long. They come not in the pursuit of a medal or glory, however, but rather the sheer thrill of competition. For these competitors, preparing for the Games often symbolizes the beginning of a healthier and more satisfying life.

Raymond Trevino of Hollister, California, the only blind veteran who competed in the 2007 Games in Indianapolis, Indiana said, "Preparing for the National Veterans Golden Age Games has taught me that there are still things I can do. I like getting involved with a team that focuses on working together... my blindness does not stop me from competing."

The annual Games, the largest sports and recreational competition for military veterans age 55 and older, will be hosted by the VA Central Iowa Health Care System and will take place in Des Moines, Iowa May 26-31 at the Iowa Events Center and various other venues across the community. What started as an effort by VA to provide therapeutic recreation to older veterans, the Games are now a serious sports competition for many training to compete in the National Senior Games. More than 800 veterans are expected to participate in ambulatory, wheelchair and visually impaired divisions, in specific age groups. Events include swimming, bicycling, bowling, discus, shot put, table tennis and more.

Help Hospitalized Veterans (HHV), the largest supplier of free therapeutic arts and craft kits to our nation's VA and military hospitals is a national co-sponsor of the Golden Age Games along with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Veterans Canteen Service.

"HHV is extremely proud to continue its support of this outstanding therapeutic recreation and social event," said HHV President and CEO Mike Lynch. "VA's use of cutting edge sports and rehabilitative medicine are making a huge difference in the lives of the veterans who participate. Through the Games, veterans gain a sense of accomplishment and improved self esteem in addition to the health benefits."

For more information about the National Veterans Golden Age Games contact VA National Public Affairs Coordinator Jenny Tankersley-Ballou at 757-728-3450 or HHV Public Relations at (888) 567-VETS.

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