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Des Moines Set to Host National Veterans Golden Age Games 24th Year of VA-Sponsored Sports Competition

Des Moines Set to Host National Veterans Golden Age Games
24th Year of VA-Sponsored Sports Competition

WASHINGTON (May 24, 2010) – Hundreds of Veterans from around the nation
will make their way to Des Moines, Iowa, May 26-31 to compete in the
24th National Veterans Golden Age Games, the largest annual sports
competition of its kind in the world.

"This extraordinary event is a true testament to the competitive spirit
and will of our nation's Veterans," said John R. Gingrich, chief of
staff for the Department of Veterans Affairs, who will attend the game's
opening ceremonies.  "I am thrilled that this premier sporting event for
senior Veterans is being held in Des Moines this year, the heartland of
America.  I know our competitors will again demonstrate that age is not
a deterrent to an active, rewarding life."

Also attending the games is VA Assistant Secretary L. Tammy Duckworth,
who will give remarks at the closing ceremonies on May 31.

Events at the National Veterans Golden Age Games are open to all U.S.
military Veterans age 55 or 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, bowling, croquet, air
rifle, golf, shuffleboard, horseshoes, discus and shot-put, among
several others.

The games are designed to improve the quality of life for older
Veterans, including those with a wide range of abilities and
disabilities.  Through a partnership with the National Senior Games
Association, which is a member of the U.S. Olympic Committee, the event
serves as a qualifier for participants in the National Senior Games,
which take place every two years.

The Golden Age Games are co-sponsored by VA, Help Hospitalized Veterans
(HHV) and the Veterans Canteen Service (VCS).  This year's event is
hosted by the VA Central Iowa Healthcare System in Des Moines and the
Sierra Pacific Healthcare System in Mare Island, Calif.

"Help Hospitalized Veterans is extremely proud to again serve as a
national co-sponsor of the games," said Mike Lynch, HHV president and
CEO.  "The Golden Age Games are an example of VA's commitment to cutting
edge rehabilitative techniques through sports and social medicine.
Veterans who participate have life-changing experiences, which will
enhance their wellness and quality of life."

"The Golden Age Games have proven to be an event promoting the health of
older Veterans, unmatched by any other," said Marilyn Iverson, director
of the Veterans Canteen Service. "The athletes who participate
demonstrate the spirit of competition, friendship and a commitment to an
active, rewarding lifestyle.  This spirit not only helps to prevent
illness, it strengthens the heart and rejuvenates the soul of all who
witness and attend this inspiring event."

The majority of the competitive events for the Golden Age Games will be
held at Hy-Vee Hall, with opening and closing ceremonies taking place at
Veterans Memorial Arena.  The opening ceremony will begin at 7 p.m. on
Wednesday, May 26.  The competition commences with golf on Thursday, May
27, at 8 a.m., at Blank Golf Course.  Closing ceremonies will be held at
7 p.m. on Monday, May 31, at the Veterans Memorial Auditorium.

Taking place over the Memorial Day holiday weekend this year, the Games
present an excellent opportunity to remember the contributions of
America's older Veterans.  For more information about the National
Veterans Golden Age Games, log onto the game's Web site at
www.veteransgoldenagegames.va.gov.

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