Thirty-two Veterans from the Houston area recently participated in the 27th National Veterans Golden Age Games sponsored by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Veterans Canteen Service (VCS). The Silver Eagles team brought home eight gold, eight silver and four bronze medals. The Games are open to all U.S. military Veterans age 55 or older who are currently receiving care at a VA medical facility.
Over 700 Veterans from across the United States came to Buffalo, New York to compete and demonstrate the warrior spirit. For six days, Veterans competed in events like cycling, swimming, horseshoes, shot put, air rifle shooting, and more.
There’s power behind the physical act of sports than can be therapeutic and preventative when it comes to health. This annual event gets older Veterans together to give them a new challenge, and in effect builds the same camaraderie instilled in service – something difficult to recreate once the uniform comes off.
“We are thrilled 13 Veterans brought medals home for the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) this year,” said Recreation Therapist and Golden Age Game Coach JeMarques Handy. “Everyone had a great time during the competitions, plus the Veterans thoroughly enjoyed tours of downtown Buffalo and Niagara Falls and the camaraderie of Veterans from all over the U.S., District of Colombia, and Guam.”
The other coaches for the MEDVAMC were Kelly Roux, R.N.; Solomon Green; and Elizabeth Nealy.
Silver Eagles Team who brought home medals include:
Army Veteran Jacqueline Hall – bronze in shuffleboard and gold in bowling and horseshoes
Army Veteran George Henry – silver in dominoes
Army Veteran John Holt – bronze in shuffleboard
Navy Veteran Sam Hughes – gold in shuffleboard
Air Force Veteran James Ivory – silver in dominoes
Army Veteran Charles Jackson – gold in shot put and silver in bowling
Army Veteran Billy Lacy – silver in golf
Air Force Veteran JoAn Lance – bronze in checkers and gold in bowling
Army Veteran Johnnie Mooney – silver in nine ball
Army Veteran Basil Morehead – silver in discus
Army Veteran Joe Ruiz – bronze in bowling
Army Veteran Carlton Tucker – silver in bowling and gold in dominoes and horseshoes
Air Force Veteran Marvin Weatherspoon – silver in ½ mile cycling and gold in ¼ mile cycling
The National Veterans Golden Age Games are a qualifier for the National Senior Games, a member of the U.S. Olympic Committee. Through this partnership, gold, silver and bronze medalists in certain events have the opportunity to compete further among America’s elite senior athletes.
For more information about the National Veterans Golden Age Games, log onto the game’s Web site at www.veteransgoldenagegames.va.gov.