Silver Eagles Head to St. Louis for National Veterans Golden Age Games
May 24, 2012
HOUSTON – Thirty-one local “golden age” Veterans who receive their care at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) will travel to St. Louis May 31 – June 5, 2012, 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 Bryan T. Bayley, Acting 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.
“I think this is a great experience. Where else could one compete against men and women and have a great time doing it? And, of course, there is the opportunity to meet and greet old and new friends. It is a great time,” said WWII Navy Veteran Joseph Bartholow. At the tender age of 86, Bartholow is MEDVAMC’s oldest competitor.
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.
The competition features sports such as swimming, cycling, golf, track and field, bowling, table tennis and others, totaling 14 competitive events. Events are open to all U.S. military Veterans age 55 or older who are currently receiving care at any VA medical facility.
The 26th National Veterans Golden Age Games are co-sponsored by VA, Help Hospitalized Veterans and the Veterans Canteen Service. This year’s event is hosted by the St. Louis VA Medical Center.
The National Veterans Golden Age Games serve as a qualifying event for the National Senior Olympics. The National Senior Olympics is a community-based member of the United States Olympic Committee and recognize senior athletes as the best athletes in their respective age groups in the United States.
Houston Silver Eagles