JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Department of Veterans Affairs wants military veterans who are enrolled in VA health care -- ages 55 and older -- to get ready for the 2017 National Veterans Golden Age Games. VA announced it will begin accepting applications for the annual event Feb. 1.
This year's games will take place May 7 - 11 in Biloxi, Mississippi, with nearly 800 athletes from across the country expected to compete.
The multi-sport competition for senior veterans embraces the "Fitness for Life" motto, encouraging participants to make physical activity a central part of their lives.
Competitive events include air rifle, badminton, boccia, bowling, cycling, golf, horseshoes, nine ball, powerwalk, shuffleboard, swimming, table tennis, and track and field. Exhibition events include air pistol, archery, basketball, blind disc golf and pickleball.
“VA is committed to offer sports and fitness as an integral part of a successful healthcare program, and I encourage every eligible Veteran to take advantage of this opportunity,” said Carla Carmichael, National Veterans Golden Age Games director.
VA Gulf Coast Veterans Health Care System will host this year’s games. It provides care for more than 50,000 Veterans throughout Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida.
Florida is home to the third largest population of veterans in the nation -- behind California and Texas -- with more than 1.5 million. Of those, more than 785,000 veterans in Florida are over the age of 65. And, more than 506,000 are Vietnam-era vets.
Starting Feb. 1, interested veterans 55 and older, who are enrolled in VA health care, can complete applications online for the 2017 National Veterans Golden Age Games here: www.veteransgoldenagegames.va.gov. Applications will be accepted through March 1.