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Veterans Crisis Line Badge
Mission Redefined VA ADAPTIVE SPORTS

Photo of a Veteran throwing a discus

Patriots on the Plains

Omaha, Nebraska
August 8 - 12, 2015

About The National Veterans Golden Age Games

The National Veterans Golden Age Games is the premier senior adaptive rehabilitation program in the United States, and the only national multi-event sports and recreational seniors’ competition program designed to improve the quality of life for all older Veterans, including those with a wide range of abilities and disabilities. The National Veterans Golden Age Games (NVGAG) is one of the most progressive and adaptive rehabilitative senior sports programs in the world. The Games serve as a qualifying event for competition in the National Senior Games in a number of competitive events.

Sports and fitness are vital ingredients of VA’s National Rehabilitation Special Events. Physical activity and friendly competition engage the mind as well as the body, and recreation therapy fills a special need in the lives of older patients at VA health centers across the country. VA research and clinical experience verify that physical activity is particularly important to the health, recovery and overall quality of life for older people. The National Veterans Golden Age Games encourage VA patients over the age of 55 to make physical activity a central part of their lives, and support VA’s comprehensive recreation and rehabilitation therapy programs. It is a national showcase for the preventive and therapeutic value of sports, fitness and recreation for all older Americans.

2015 Event Poster

2015 List of National Event Dates and Locations


Important NVGAG Info

For questions regarding the NVGAG, please contact
Jeanene LeSure or call (813) 903-4852.

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

Event Director:
Carla J Carmichael,
(202) 461-0429

Communications Director:
Michael Molina
(202) 560-7305

National Sponsor
Veterans Canteen Service (VCS)

Local Host Site Coordinator
Anna Morelock

Media Releases

Photo of Veteran John Martinez

George Gangi Award Winner

John Martinez had a pinched nerve, took medicine for pain in his legs and attended physical therapy at his local VA medical center in Fresno, Calif.

“I never thought I was going to walk again,” John said.

Then his doctors recommended surgery, something John couldn’t accept. He said, “When I was in the military you could always find me at the gym, and I felt great.”

That’s when a friend told him about Break the Barriers, a program that trains disabled Veterans and provides them with personal care from professional trainers. The program costs the Veteran nothing and is a former recipient of the VA Adaptive Sports Grant Program.
The 62 year old U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Army and California National Guard Veteran threw his cane aside and started training. “I strive for competition,” he said and didn’t want to be seen as any less of a competitor because of his cane.

John began working out his legs and trained for swimming. Feeling confident again, he signed up for the 2013 National Veterans Golden Age Games which was only a month away. Although he didn’t do as well as he hoped in the games, he was determined to do better in 2014.

John competed in swimming, air rifle, precision walking, javelin, shot put, discus, cycling and power walking this year, and medaled in eight out of ten events.
An impressive feat considering that this time last year John was still walking with a cane. Now, he is completely free of all pain medication and able to work out a few hours a day. He spends a lot of his time coaching other Veterans and encourages them to stay active.

“If you want to stay healthy, go to the gym,” he says.

John doesn’t have any plans to slow down. He’s constantly looking for new competition opportunities. He says, “When I didn’t have my health, I felt wounded. Now, I feel normal again.”

Congratulations John Martinez, the 2014 George Gangi Inspiration Award recipient.

The George Gangi Inspiration Award honors the competitor at the National Veterans Golden Age Games who exemplifies the attributes of a true champion through athletic excellence as well as personal qualities such as sportsmanship, leadership, fellowship and tenacity.


Photo of Army Veteran Basil Moorehead

Training for the Games

The Games are all about health and fitness, so it is important that Veterans train throughout the year. Just ask George Henry, who served in the Army and Navy. He goes to the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center’s (MEDVAMC) fitness center in Houston, Texas almost daily to train and stay in shape.

Recently, MEDVAMC closed their fitness center briefly, for remodeling. “I didn’t know what to do with myself while the fitness center was closed,” said Henry. “Now that the fitness center is open again, I have a place where I can train for the Golden Age Games.”

Keeping Veterans healthy and fit is a top priority for the Houston VA, and their Veterans make it a priority as well.

“I have been looking forward to the reopening of the fitness center,” said Army Veteran Basil Morehead, who also uses the MEDVAMC fitness center to train for the Games. “I really missed the camaraderie and being able to talk fitness with my fellow Veterans.”

Henry is scheduled to compete in dominoes, horseshoes, shot put, and the 1/2 mile power walk. Morehead’s events include javelin, shot put, discus, dominoes, and air rifle. In the end, it doesn’t matter where you train, just as long as you come ready to compete!

Omaha Community Information

Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce website
Omaha Convention & Visitors Bureau


Q:  Where are the 2015 NVGAG being held?
A:  The Games will take place August 8 – 12, 2015 in Omaha, Nebraska .
Learn more about Omaha.

Q:  When will the detailed schedule with event dates and venues be available?
A:  Download the 2015 Event Schedule

Q:  What sports will be offered at the 2015 National Veterans Golden Age Games ?

AIR RIFLE   Singles
BADMINTON    Singles, Doubles
BASKETBALL  3-on-3 Half Court (Exhibition)
BOCCIA   Wheelchair Exhibition
BOWLING   Singles, Ambulatory, Wheelchair and Visually Impaired  Divisions
CYCLING 1/2 mile , Road Race  (Exhibition)
DISC GOLF  Visually Impaired (Exhibition)
GOLF 18 -Hole Scratch Play
HORSESHOES  Singles, Ambulatory, Wheelchair and Visually Impaired  Divisions
NINE BALL Singles, Ambulatory, Wheelchair Divisions
RACQUETBALL  Singles, Doubles, (Exhibition)
SHUFFLEBOARD  Singles, Ambulatory, Wheelchair and Visually Impaired  Divisions
SWIMMING Backstroke: 25-, 50- Yard Freestyle: 25-, 50-Yard  100 yd. Relay (Exhibition)
TABLE TENNIS    Singles, Ambulatory, Wheelchair Divisions
TRACK & FIELD    100, 200, 400, 800, 1500 Meter, 1 Mile Powerwalk, Discus, Javelin, Shot Put

Q:  How do I register for the 2015 National Veterans Golden Age Games ?
A:  Registration will be online,  Please continue to check our website at for updated information. Please note: to participate in the 2015 National Veterans Golden Age Games, you must be 55 years of age or older and currently receive inpatient or outpatient care from the U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Q: How many events can I register for?
A: Athletes may register for a maximum of six (6) and a minimum of four (4) medal events. Registration under track (no more than 4 track events), field or swimming (no more than 3 swimming events) will count as one event toward these medal event requirements.

Q: If I am only eligible to participate in 3 events, will an exhibition count towards the 4 event minimum requirement?
A: Yes; however, medals will not be offered for any of the exhibition events.

Q: What is the deadline for registering for the 2015 National Veterans Golden Age Games ?
A: Final registration deadline is Friday, May 15, 2015 at midnight EST.

Q: When will I receive my confirmation letter?
A: Confirmations are received immediately at the conclusion of online registration via email. If you register via the mail, an email and a letter confirmation will be sent to your mailing address upon receipt. If you have not received your confirmation after online registration please check your spam folder, if it is still not there please contact the NVGAG at or call (813) 903-4582.


Q:  How do I qualify for the 2015 National Veterans Golden Age Games?
A: To participate in the National Veterans Golden Age Games, you must be 55 years of age or older by  January 1, 2015 and currently receive inpatient or outpatient care from the U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Q: What medical clearance is needed?
A: To participate in the National Veterans Golden Age Games, you must receive medical clearance by your VA Primary Care Provider. The form must be mailed to the NVGAG host facility NLT Friday, April 30, 2015 at midnight EST. The form is available on the website .

NVGAG Medical Application


Q:  How do I suggest a new sport or event be added?
A:  Currently, our sports are as follows: 2015 – Air Rifle, Badminton, Bowling, Cycling, Dominoes, Field, Golf, Horseshoes, Nine Ball, Shuffleboard, Swimming, Table Tennis,  and Track. 

New sports/events are the responsibility of the National Veterans Golden Age Games Committee, which relies on the recommendations of the staff. The procedure for requesting a sport and/or event be added to the National Veterans Golden Age Games may be found in the 2015 National Veterans Golden Age Games Rule Book.

Q:  What Sports receive a Medal?
A:  Air Rifle, Badminton, Bowling, Cycling, Dominoes, Field, Golf, Horseshoes, Nine Ball, Shuffleboard, Swimming, Table Tennis, and Track.

Q:  Are there specific hotels I should be staying at?
A:  Yes, the NVGAG will secure room blocks at hotels in the downtown Omaha area.  Lodging is the responsibility of the athlete . Lodging reservations and payment are the responsibility of the traveler. Specific information will be forwarded to athletes after acceptance of registration.

Q:  How do I make my travel plans?
A:  All athletes are responsible for their travel plans. For funding  contact the Veterans Affairs medical facility from which you receive care or a local Veterans Service Organization (VSO) for additional information. 

Q:What do I need to bring with me to the event?
A: Athletes should bring clothes for layers, tennis shoes, hat, sunscreen, umbrella, sunglasses, medication, personal identification and personal equipment (i.e. golf clubs, bowling ball) 

If you are interested in learning more about the events that make up the National Veterans Golden Games, these are the organizations that guide the competition and will provide you the information to help prepare for the NVGAG 

Air Rifle -USA Shooting
Badminton – USA Badminton
Bowling - United States Bowling Congress
Bowling -Wheelchair -American Wheelchair Bowling Association
Bowling -Visually Impaired American Blind Bowling Association
Cycling - USA Cycling 
Field (Discus, Javelin, Shot Put) -USA Track & Field 
Golf - United States Golf Association 
Horseshoes - National Horseshoe Pitcher’s Association 
Horseshoes Visually impaired - United States Blind Horseshoe Pitchers Association
Nine Ball - Billiard Congress of America 
Shuffleboard- National Shuffleboard Association 
Swimming - United States Masters Swimming, Inc. 
Table Tennis - USA Table Tenni
Track- USA Track & Field


For questions regarding the NVGAG, please contact Jeanene LeSure or call (813) 903-4852.


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