The 35th National Veterans Wheelchair Games are coming to Dallas, Texas, this summer, June 21-26, 2015. This VA and Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) co-presented event changes the lives hundreds of Veterans every single year and thousands of communities across the country. It is VA’s largest comprehensive rehabilitation program.
The backbone of this huge endeavor is a dedicated group of VA and PVA staff who have stood up and volunteered to ensure our nation’s wheelchair Veteran athletes experience a transformational rehabilitation program. The VA staff who make this program successful year after year represent the essence of what a Summer of Service is truly about.
For each Wheelchair Games, the planning time and preparation takes about two years. In addition to their full-time job responsibilities, the vice chairs of each Games organizational service line add so much more to their plate. They do so not because it is easy, but because they truly embody VA’s I CARE core values and believe in the mission of the Games.
Each of the vice chairs have anywhere between three to 11 subcommittees that focus on various aspects of the Games’ framework, which involve hundreds of VA staff and community volunteers. For example, more than 500 community volunteers are needed to support some areas of the Games’ operations.
With less than a month remaining until the opening ceremonies of the 35th National Veterans Wheelchair Games, I am extremely proud to have served beside all the VA North Texas staff whose tireless efforts over the past two years will culminate in a successful and memorable event. The memories we create during the hot summer sizzle of Games week will be all worth it. Watching our Veterans — all courageous men and women — competing for their personal best will stay with VA staff and volunteers for many years to come. The camaraderie of the athletes will spill over and become our own back at VA North Texas. As a result, we will be a stronger team and make each day a positive health care experience for our Veterans.
Wheelchair Veteran athletes have served our country and have endured traumatic events. Some have spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis, amputations and other neurological conditions. Involvement in the Games is one way we are living the VA Summer of Service, by being involved in something bigger than yourself so that others who have given so much can shine as bright as the Lone Star State on their journey to rehabilitation.
The local organizing committee is excited to embrace this year’s Summer of Service at the 35th National Veterans Wheelchair Games and look forward to a fun and inspiring week. For more information about the Games or how you can get involved, visit www.wheelchairgames.org
Get inspired and get involved today!
About the author: Froy Garza is the vice chair for public affairs of the 35th National Veteran Wheelchair Games.
VA takes its commitment to care for the nation’s Veterans and their families very seriously, and this summer, we invite all of you to join in that commitment. Community by community, state by state, our nation can work together to serve Veterans during the VA Summer of Service.