3 southeast Mo. veterans to compete in National Golden Age Games
SOUTHEAST Mo. (KFVS) - Three veterans in southeast Missouri will compete in the National Veterans Golden Age Games.
According to a release from the John J. Pershing VA Medical Center, the games will be held July 18-23 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
Mary Bader, a U.S. Army OIF/OEF veteran, will be joined by fellow Army veterans Perry James, Sr. and Charles Webb.
Bader’s father, Francis Auld, competed in the games at the age of 83. It was an experience he described to his daughter as “one of the best things that has ever happened to me.”
Before his death in 2013, he asked her to promise him she would participate in the games when she turned 55. Since then, she has competed nearly every year except for one when she was injured and one because of the pandemic.
Her partners, Perry James, Jr. has missed only two games since 2012 and Charles Webb is a first-timer competing in the local “At-Home” competitions.
While each receives medical care through the Veterans Health Administration, VA is unable to fund their participation in the games, leaving them to seek donations and local sponsors.
“We have a donation fund, GPF 9725 Golden Age Games, in which people who want to donate may write a check and place 9725 GAG in the memo section. We’ll know where to deposit it,” said Dale Garrett, VA CDCE chief.
According to the VA, this year’s Golden Age Games, is billed as “the premier senior adaptive rehabilitation program in the United States, and the only national multi-event sports and recreational seniors’ competition program designed to improve the quality of life for all older Veterans.”
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