Veterans Go For The Gold


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Last week, the 25th National Veterans Golden Age Games kicked off in Honolulu, Hawaii. I had the privilege to spend the next six days photographing over 900 Veterans from across the United States. These men and women, Veterans from World War II to the current conflicts, and some 90 years young, competed in events like horseshoes, air rifle, nine-ball, golf, croquet, and canoeing.

Throughout the week, I met Veterans who served together in Vietnam, only to find themselves competing for the same medals decades later. I met women who served in the Korean War and listened as they reminisced about their time in uniform. We stood together on Memorial Day as we honored those who made the ultimate sacrifice. The Golden Age Games were a celebration of life and recognizing those who have paved the way for younger generations. The slideshow below includes over a hundred photos of the event.

Author

Kate Hoit

Comments

  1. Pattie Matheson    

    Yay Kate!! Nice writing, natch, and a cool assignment right out of the gate! You go girl 🙂
    ~P~

  2. Dawn Bundick    

    This was my first experience attending the GAG. I am a Navy Veteran but not eligible to participate due to my age. I attended as support staff to the Alaskan Polar Rollers and they were awesome! Our team came back with many medals and will show them to their fellow family members and friends while sharing their great stories of meeting new friends and connecting with past friends.

    As a younger Vet I was amazed at the fitness, strength, enthusiasm and comrade that each amazing athlete embodied. The athletes from across the United States that I met were wonderful. The entire staff for the games was wonderful and assisted when ever we needed them.

    I was amazed at the domino competition and watched an athlete that was blind play dominoes and win one of his games. I was in awe! I watched athletes that had lost limbs, participate in events that may have required all limbs but they persevered. I came back with a renewed spirit and greater appreciation of all of our Veterans and especially those with a disability. As I continue to support our Alaska team, I hope all veterans younger than 55 years old volunteer their time to get involved.

    I came back to Alaska and shared my experience with the Department of Alaska Ladies Auxiliary to the Veterans of Foreign Wars (LAVFW) State Convention attendees. Our LAVFW has donated towards the GAG games and the Wheelchair games to help send veterans to these events. So I am proud to be a Vet, a LAVFW member and just a public citizen volunteering my time to help veterans. To all of the vets that I met thank you for your service and you paving the way for me, my children and my family. Because I know one day someone will do the same for me! This experience I will never forget, even though I was exhausted! LOL

    All GAG Vets Rock!
    MAHALO

  3. Moses Patterson    

    R.I.P. Mr Donald Herring who passed away at this yrs Golden Age Games in Hawaii. My blessings go out to the Herring family. God bless.

  4. Jeff Grandon    

    Next year the National Veterans Golden Age Games will be in St. Louis, Missouri May 30-June 4, 2012.

    You’ll find dozens of stories and photos of the athletes that participated this year on the Golden Age Games newsletter page: http://www.va.gov/opa/speceven/gag/2011/wikiwiki-newsletters.asp.

  5. Alexander L JONES    

    When and where will the next games be held?

  6. John Bunting    

    The event is great, i was not there but wish i was. Spending time with fellow veterans is very rewarding and can be very emotional especially people that you served with.Some of the most interesting veterans are the ones from WW2 they are a walking history book.

    1. John U Miller Sr    

      I was a participant of the 25TH NATIONAL VETERANS GOLDEN AGE GAMES in Honolulla Hawaii.
      I met many veterans from different states.
      I created a FB Group page of the 25TH NATIONAL VETERANS GOLDEN AGE GAMES.
      All are welcome to join.

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