Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center - Houston, Texas

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Silver Eagles Head to Indianapolis for National Veterans Golden Age Games

August 15, 2008

HOUSTON – Twenty-eight local “golden age” veterans who receive their care at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) will travel to Indianapolis August 20 – 24, 2008, to compete in the largest sports and recreational competition for senior veterans in the world.

"Staying active and healthy through sports and fitness is important for our nation’s veterans,” said Edgar L. Tucker, MEDVAMC director. "We are proud of the team that represents our medical center.”

The Silver Eagles team is not just a group of competitors - they are family. When they reminisce about last year’s games, their conversations are interrupted by uncontrollable laughter as they relate hilarious incidents and inside jokes.

“This is my first time to compete.  I am overjoyed to find an outlet for my life with people my age.  I feel my life is going to hold new meaning because of the golden age gang,” said Air Force veteran Jacqueline Beard.

The Golden Age Games are not just for competition. There is ample time reserved for sightseeing and mingling with other veterans. Social events such as special dinners and dances comprise much of the games. Fitness is an essential part of the games, but the VA recognizes the importance of social interaction and building both the mind and the body.

Golden Age Games competitions are open to all U.S. military veterans age 55 or older who receive care at a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical facility. The games give participants the opportunity to compete in ambulatory, visually-impaired and wheelchair divisions, according to their ages. Events include swimming, bicycling, bowling, croquet, air rifle, golf, shuffleboard, horseshoes, discus, and shot put.

The 22nd National Veterans Golden Age Games are co-sponsored by VA, Help Hospitalized Veterans (HHV) and the Veterans Canteen Service (VCS). This year’s event is hosted by the Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center in Indianapolis.

The National Veterans Golden Age Games is the only national multi-event sports and recreational seniors’ competition program for older veterans. It is designed to improve the quality of life for all older veterans, including those with a wide range of abilities and disabilities. For a number of events, the games will serve as a qualifying competition for participating in the 2009 National Senior Games in San Francisco. The

National Senior Games is a member of the U.S. Olympic Committee.

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For more information on the Golden Age Games, visit www.veteransgoldenagegames.va.gov, or call Jenny Tankersley Ballou, National Veterans Golden Age Games Public Affairs Coordinator, at (757) 728-3450 or (757) 254-6058.

Competitor Branch of Service Events
Beard, Jacqueline Air Force Golf, dominos, 9 ball, air rifle
Burks, Andrew Air Force Table tennis, Golf, and Swimming
Dugat, Rena Army Checkers, croquet, dominos
Dyess, James Navy Swimming, nine ball, air rifle
Fagans, Henry Army Bowling, cycling, air rifle, and Nine Ball
Gonsoulin, August Air Force Bowling, Nine ball, and table tennis
Henry, George Navy & Army Dominoes, 9 ball, horseshoes, and Checkers
Holt, John Roger Army Cycling,  Dominoes, and Air Rifle
Howard, David Army Bicycling, Shuffleboard, and air rifle
Lacy, Billy Army Golf,  nine ball, and bowling
Lambus, Robert Army Bowling, horseshoes, nine ball, air rifle and croquet
Lance, Joan (F) Army Checkers and bowling
Lavilla, Sergio Navy Bowling, air rifle and swimming
Lewis, John Army Bicycling, Bowling, and Dominoes
Lynch, Pat Navy Dominoes, horseshoes, shuffleboard, and air rifle
Mooney, Johnnie Army Golf, bowling, 9 ball, table tennis, swimming
Morehead, Basil Army Dominoes, horseshoes, shot put, discus and air rifle
Morris, Gloria (F) Army Bowling, horseshoes, Shuffleboard, and Checkers
Robert, Joseph Army Bowling, Shuffleboard, air rifle, and Horseshoes
Robles, Leon Navy Bowling, nine ball, cycling and horseshoes
Shepherd, David Marine Checkers, air rifle, horseshoes and dominos
Sims, Marvin Army Croquet and swimming
Thrash, Mack Army Bowling, shuffleboard, and Nine-Ball
Williams, Hillery Army & Air Force Bicycling, dominos, air rifle, and horseshoes
Williams, James Air Force Bicycling, table tennis, nine ball, and bowling
Woodard, Jack Marines Dominoes, nine ball, and air rifle
Zalesky, Marvin Army Bowling, Shuffleboard, Checkers, and Dominoes