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Veterans Health Administration


Vets in San Diego for Exploration and Accomplishment

Sailboats and Navy Ship


People in kayaks playing with giant beach ball


Rehab for the Body and Spirit

Hundreds of America’s bravest have arrived in San Diego for a week of exploration and accomplishment. They are there for VA’s Summer Sports Clinic, which promotes rehabilitation of body and spirit by teaching summer sporting activities to Veterans with significant physical or psychological impairments.

The Clinic offers such sports as surfing, sailing, kayaking, track and field, and cycling to Veterans who are newly injured from amputations, traumatic brain injuries, posttraumatic stress disorder and other neurological disorders.

According to Todd Gould, National Director for the Clinic, “VA believes that healing the entire person is the most effective way to bring about positive change.

“Participating in activities that are exciting and fun transforms hope into confidence.”

— Tristen Heaton

“Rehabilitation events specifically designed for healing the entire person allow eligible Veterans to gain motivation to reach their full potential, improve their independence, achieve a healthier lifestyle and enjoy a higher quality of life.”

The Clinic promises a week of exploration and accomplishment in water and summer sports for Veterans from across the country. The event provides early intervention for Veterans battling back from injury. Clinic participants improve overall well-being by strengthening their bodies as they learn first-hand their potential for leading active and rewarding lives.

“Transforming Hope into Confidence”

Tristen Heaton, local site coordinator in San Diego, adds, “Participating in activities that are exciting and fun transforms hope into confidence.”

Veterans renew old skills and build new ones as the Summer Sports Clinic reinforces the hard work and motivation of their ongoing rehabilitation. The ultimate goal is adapting to a new way of life without giving up activities of the past or compromising a fulfilling future.

The recreational activities and unconventional therapies offered by the Clinic enable Veterans to prove to themselves that facing and taking command of change can be truly liberating — sometimes in unexpected ways. The Department of Veterans Affairs is the leader in rehabilitation therapies available to the nation’s injured Veterans.

The clinic, with the theme, “Setting YOUR Course for the Future,” runs from September 18-23 in San Diego — known for its strong military presence and ideal coastal climate — the perfect location for the event.

The VA San Diego Healthcare System, host of this unique event, offers a tremendous base of comprehensive medical and physical rehabilitation expertise and strong community volunteer support. The bottom line is a healthy, healing setting for this one-of-a-kind event.

The Clinic is sponsored by the Department of Veterans Affairs, with significant support from founding sponsors Help Hospitalized Veterans and the Veterans Canteen Service.

Participation is open to U.S. military service Veterans with orthopedic amputations, traumatic brain injuries, burn injuries, psychological trauma, certain neurological conditions, visual impairment, spinal cord injuries and other eligible injuries incurred in the last six years.