Local Veterans compete in VISN 5 Veterans Mini-Games - Martinsburg VA Medical Center
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Martinsburg VA Medical Center

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Local Veterans compete in VISN 5 Veterans Mini-Games

April 17, 2017

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MARTINSBURG, W.Va. – Many people see turning 55 as a time to slow down and relax, but for the Veterans interested in joining Team Martinsburg, the medical center’s National Veterans Golden Age Games (NVGAG), it means a new opportunity to get active again.

Veterans on Team Martinsburg see 55 as an opportunity to improve their health and wellness through some competitive rivalry.

That competitive rivalry came to the medical center last weekend in the form of the fourth annual VA Capitol Health Care Network (VISN 5) Veterans Mini-Games. During the mini-games, Veterans came from all-around the region to practice for the upcoming NVGAG in Biloxi, Mississippi, May 7 through 11.

“The mini-games are good preparation for the Golden Age Games,” said U.S. Army Veteran Celestine Nelson. “We train for the mini-games all year and it is kind of hard on your body but it’s a good hard.” Nelson knows about working and training hard because she knew that when she turned 55 she wanted to join Team Martinsburg. However, when that day came she was ineligible to join due to a double hip replacement. She didn’t let that stop her. Nelson used her desire to join the team and compete at the NVGAG to motivate her during the recovery process.

According to U.S. Air Force Veteran Michael Clark, a recreation therapy assistant at the medical center and Team Martinsburg’s assistant coach, the mini-games are good for Veterans because it helps them work toward a healthy lifestyle and stay social. Both of which are key to a Veterans health and wellness.

“We have events for everyone, regardless of their physical ability,” said Clark. “Even if you have two left feet, we have something for you. Don’t be shy, give it a try!”

Veterans interested in joining Team Martinsburg should contact Recreation Therapy at 304-263-0811 or 800-817-3807, ext. 4031.