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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Golden Age Games begin in Birmingham on Wednesday

The world's largest sports and recreational competition for veterans ages 55 and older begin in Birmingham on Friday.

The 23rd Annual National Veterans Golden Age Games include about 700 veterans from across the country who have served in conflicts from World War II to the Persian Gulf War.

They arrived in Birmingham today to prepare for the competition. The games begin tomorrow and finish on Friday.

Athletes compete in swimming, bicycling, shuffleboard, air rifle and many other events in various divisions based on their ages and handicaps. Separate divisions include ambulatory, visually-impaired and wheelchair.

The Golden Age Games are open to all U.S. military veterans ages 55 and older who receive care at a Department of Veterans Affairs medical facility. The games are co-sponsored by the VA, the Help Hospitalized Veterans non-profit organization and the Veterans Canteen Service. The Games are also a qualifying event every other year for the National Senior Olympic Games.

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I grew up in the military. Mom was an Air Force nurse for a few years, dad was a navigator on B-52s, among other things. One grandfather served in World War II, uncle is retired Navy, other grandfather and great-uncle served in Korea and a cousin is currently serving in the Marine Corps. Currently, I'm the military reporter for the Great Falls Tribune in Montana. Previously, 


As a military kids, we moved all over. As an adult, I've traveled all over and moved for work. But now, I'm putting down roots in Montana with my boyfriend. We just bought a house and are slowly but surely making it our home. We have more land that we know what to do with at the moment. Now we're getting a garden started, tearing down walls and having loads of fun at what we call the Homestead.

In a part life, I did PR for the guy who built the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on the National Mall, social media for the National Museum of Health and Medicine, before that, edited two military technology magazines for a publishing group in the DC area and before that, I was the military reporter (among other things) at the Montgomery Advertiser, covering Maxwell Air Force Base, the Alabama National Guard, veterans and anything else military related in the area. And in between all of that, I leave town, preferably the country, whenever possible. It all started when I spent a semester in New Zealand.

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