June 15, 2011
Event encourages older Veterans to continue leading active and rewarding lives, and serves as an example for all Americans that age doesn’t have to slow you down
|Army Veteran Clarence Brownlow competes in horseshoes during the 25th National Veterans Golden Age Games held in Honolulu.|
Thirty-six Veterans from the Houston area recently participated in the 25th National Veterans Golden Age Games held in Honolulu. The team brought home five gold, ten silver and nine bronze medals. The Games are open to all U.S. military Veterans age 55 or older who receive care at a Department of Veterans Affairs medical facility.
Over 800 Veterans from across the United States came to compete and demonstrate the warrior spirit. For six days, Veterans competed in events like horseshoes, air rifle, nine-ball, golf, croquet, and swimming.
“The Games demonstrate the true spirit of an athlete’s competitive determination and passion that reflects their competitive drive and resolve to accept challenges and accomplish the mission,” said Marilyn Iverson, director, Veterans Canteen Service. “These same qualities were evident when these Veterans served our nation.”
“We are thrilled 17 Veterans brought medals home for the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center this year,” said Recreation Therapist and Golden Age Games Coach Stacey Spicer. “Everyone had a great time during the competitions, plus the Veterans thoroughly enjoyed visiting Pearl Harbor, attending a luau, and participating in the outrigger canoe exhibition.”
The other coaches for the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center were JeMarques Handy; Kelly Roux, R.N.; Billie Jean Sanders; and Solomon Green.
Veterans who brought home medals include:
Army Veteran Billy Lacy – bronze in golf
Navy Veteran Wilbert Boson - silver in golf
Army Veteran Clarence Brownlow – bronze in nine-ball
Air Force Veteran Eddie Winn – silver in nine-ball and bronze in dominoes
Navy Veteran Jewel Armstrong – bronze in horseshoes
Army Veteran Jacqueline Hall – gold in bowling and gold in horseshoes
Army Veteran Carlton Tucker – silver in horseshoes
Army Veteran Margarita Dozier - silver in horseshoes
Air Force Veteran JoAn Lance – bronze in checkers and gold in bowling
Army Veteran Joe Ruiz – silver in bowling
Air Force Veteran James Williams – silver in bowling
Army Veteran Marvin Zalesky – gold in bowling
Army Veteran Basil Morehead – silver in discus
Navy Veteran Sergio Lavilla – bronze in swimming
Army Veteran Joseph Robert – bronze in shuffleboard
Air Force Veteran Marvin Weatherspoon – bronze in ¼ mile cycling and bronze in ½ mile cycling
Navy Veteran Sam Hughes – silver in dominoes
The Golden Age Games are co-sponsored by the VA, Help Hospitalized Veterans (HHV) and Veterans Canteen Service (VCS). This year’s event was hosted by the VA Pacific Islands Health Care System.
“HHV is extremely proud to continue its support of this outstanding therapeutic recreation and social event for Veterans 55 and older,” said Mike Lynch, president and CEO of HHV. “VA’s use of cutting edge sports and rehabilitation are making a huge difference in the lives of Veterans who participate. Through the efforts of VA’s superb staff and hundreds of volunteers, Veteran’s lives are being touched in dramatic ways.”
The St. Louis VA Medical Center will host the Games next year. For more information about the National Veterans Golden Age Games, log onto the game’s Web site at http://www.va.gov/opa/speceven/gag/index.asp.
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Awarded re-designation for Magnet Recognition for Excellence in Nursing Services in 2008, the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center serves as the primary health care provider for more than 120,000 veterans in southeast Texas. Veterans from around the country are referred to the MEDVAMC for specialized diagnostic care, radiation therapy, surgery, and medical treatment including cardiovascular surgery, gastrointestinal endoscopy, nuclear medicine, ophthalmology, and treatment of spinal cord injury and diseases. The MEDVAMC is home to a Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Clinic; Network Polytrauma Center; an award-winning Cardiac and General Surgery Program; Liver Transplant Center; VA Epilepsy and Cancer Centers of Excellence; VA Substance Abuse Disorder Quality Enhancement Research Initiative; Health Services Research & Development Center of Excellence; VA Rehabilitation Research of Excellence focusing on mild to moderate traumatic brain injury; Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center; and one of the VA’s six Parkinson’s Disease Research, Education, and Clinical Centers. Including the outpatient clinics in Beaumont, Conroe, Galveston, Houston, Lufkin, and Richmond, MEDVAMC outpatient clinics logged more than one million outpatient visits in fiscal year 2010. For the latest news releases and information about the MEDVAMC, visit www.houston.va.gov.