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Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center - Houston, Texas

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Silver Eagles Team Bring Home the Bling

June 13, 2013



Picture caption: Front row L-R: Joe Ruiz, Charles Jackson, Carlton Tucker, Joan Lance, Sam Hughes
Back row L-R: Basil Morehead, James Ivory, Marvin Weatherspoon, George Henry, Jacqueline Hall, Billy Lacy, John Holt, Johnnie Mooney

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