United States Department of Veterans Affairs

A Whole New World

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A Whole New World

The Golden Age Games have helped open up a whole new world for 90 year old WWII Marine Veteran Thomas J. Fortini.

“This is my second year to participate, and I have a new sense of independence. Losing your vision is a whole new and different world, especially when you walk into the ladies room,” said Fortini.

“At first I resisted VA’s help when I was offered training at the VA Blind Center. They really helped me gain my independence with all the devices and services available to the visually impaired. I can once again participate in sports and be active and competitive. There’s a spirit of camaraderie at the Games among those who have similar experiences and are in the same physical situation. Learning from each other is a very rewarding experience.

“The Games have really opened him up. I have seen such a positive change in him since he began competing last year. He is so motivated that he’s working on a fundraiser to support the team for next year,” said Coach Danny Rhines.

“I feel like I’ve accomplished something towards my life when I’m at the Games. I’m doing the best I can and then some,” said Fortini.