As planning for the 2017 National Veterans Golden Age Games continues, Veterans across the nation are preparing for a week of sports and competition. Air Force Veteran and Biloxi, Mississippi resident, Garfield Adams, is excited to participate, but most of all looks forward to having a good time.
“I want all the Veterans to [visit Mississippi] and have fun,” said Adams. “I think this is great for morale, and allows Veterans to get involved in activities they may never have a chance to play. At whatever level a Veteran can participate, they can find something in the [Golden Age Games].”
Adams won five base championships in table tennis during his 22-year military career. At the Games he will compete in table tennis, badminton, 100-meter run and powerwalk.
“I ran track and field when I was a kid, but I just love to participate in sports,” he said. “It’s just a feeling like no other, and participating with other Veterans is great.”
The 57-year old Adams is a Veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He says that Veterans are a unique group, and although he feels winning a medal would be great, just participating is his goal.
“It isn’t all about winning. It is about participating and being with your fellow Veterans,” he said. “Although we may not have served together, we have a common bond and mission.”
Registration for the National Veterans Golden Age Games has ended, but volunteers are still needed to help make the events successful. Interested volunteers can sign up online at www.veteransgoldenagegames.va.gov and clicking on the Volunteer tab.
Shannon Arledge is the VISN 16 communications manager. Prior to his current position, Shannon served as the public affairs officer, at Overton Brooks VAMC in Shreveport, LA (2015-2016) and served as the public affairs specialist for the Center for Domestic Preparedness in Anniston, Alabama (2007-2015). He is a retired U.S. Marine, serving from 1987-2007, all in public affairs.