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Ironton veteran competed in National Veterans Golden Age Games


St. Louis, Mo. — More than 900 veterans who served during World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War competed in the 26th National Veterans Golden Age Games in St. Louis, Mo., May 30 to today. Included among the participants is Kenneth E. Willis, 69, of Ironton, who receives his health care at the VA Medical Center in Huntington, W.Va.

Sponsored by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Help Hospitalized Veterans (HHV) and Veterans Canteen Service (VCS), the National Veterans Golden Age Games is an exciting national sports and recreation competition.

Events at the Games are open to all U.S. military Veterans age 55 or older, who are currently receiving care at any VA medical facility. Hosted by the St. Louis VA Medical Center, the competition features sports such as swimming, cycling, golf, track and field, bowling, table tennis and others, totaling 14 competitive events.

The games have grown from 115 participants its first year to more than 700 in 2011. It is the only national multi-event sports and recreational seniors’ competition program designed to improve the quality of life for all older Veterans, including those with a wide range of abilities and disabilities. It is one of the most progressive and adaptive rehabilitative senior sports programs in the world.

The 2012 event began with a gala opening ceremony at 7 p.m. on May 31 at America’s Center, America’s Ballroom. The closing ceremony is at 7 p.m. today in the same location. Competitive events were June 1 – 5.

The National Veterans Golden Age Games serve as a qualifying event for competition in the National Senior Games in a number of competitive events. The National Senior Olympics are 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.

For more information about the National Veterans Golden Age Games and other VA national rehabilitation programs, visit www.veteransgoldenagegames.va.gov.