Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans’ Hospital
Golden Age Games 2013
Four Veterans who receive care at Truman VA recently attended the 27th annual National Veterans Golden Age Games in Buffalo, NY, from May 30 to June 4. The Golden Age Games are open to all U.S. military Veterans age 55 and older who receive care at a 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, cycling, golf, horseshoes, bowling, shot put, discus, javelin, croquet, dominos, air rifle, nine ball, shuffleboard, and table tennis.
More than 750 Veterans from 48 states and U.S. territories participated. Athletes came to compete and also to see old friends, make new friends and to enjoy the sights the host city had to offer. This event is about promoting physical fitness and healthy living, but also focuses on increasing socialization and fostering a sense of camaraderie.
James Seago went to the games excited for the competition and hoping to bring home a medal. Seago is a visually impaired U.S. Army veteran who is passionate about living a healthy lifestyle and staying physically active. He began prepping for the event months in advance, increasing his physical fitness routine, practicing his discus throws, and running. Seago competed in track and field events in high school and was very excited for an opportunity to compete in these events again. He brought back silver medals in discus and air rifle and is already looking forward to competing in next year’s games to be held in Fayetteville, Ark. Other Truman VA team members included Henri Jefferson, Mike Penning and Tommy White.
The people of Buffalo were wonderful hosts and made participants feel welcome as guests in their city. While there, Veterans were able to do some sight-seeing as well. Truman VA’s team had the opportunity to visit Niagara Falls, which was a breathtaking experience. They also visited the waterfront Naval Park and toured a U.S. Navy cruiser, destroyer and submarine. Evening entertainment was provided for participants at two of the host hotels, which included a bingo night sponsored by the Veterans Canteen Service with 800+ prizes. There were also musical performances and entertainers such as magicians and belly dancers.
The games were a wonderful opportunity for Truman VA’s team. Not only did they get to compete in events that were good for the body and mind, they got to meet Veterans from around our great nation and form new friendships that will be cherished for years to come. If interested in finding out more about the Golden Age Games, contact Jessica Conyers in Recreation Therapy at 573-814-6000 extension 53646.