Veterans Go for the Gold at Wheelchair Games

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PLAINS TOWNSHIP -- Veterans were going for the gold Wednesday afternoon at the Wheelchair Games at the Wilkes-Barre VA Medical Center.

It wouldn’t be the start of the games without the sound of the National Anthem.

Army veteran Bill Harrison said he is moved by it every time.

“We value what we did and we value our comrades in arms. That's why we do it,” Harrison said.

After that, they were off to the races! Veterans went head-to-head in golfing, ball tossing, and puck games, to name a few.

“It's different! After sitting your room and going to appointments, then a meal, and another meal, and another meal. This is great for getting together, you know?” Army veteran Fred Searles said.

Organizers said it takes hours of work to bring on all the fun, but it’s worth it every year.

“Besides the socialization and the fun that they have, a lot of them are so competitive and they really want to have that gold medal at the end of the games,” Linda Zaneski of the Wilkes-Barre VA Community Living Center said.

There were 80 veterans competing for prizes like coupon books, hats, and socks.

Some veterans, like John “Red” Wolcyzk even had strategies on how to win.

“Practice, practice, practice. You go to Carnegie Hall and practice,” Wolczyk joked.

This is the fifth year veterans have participated in the Wheelchair Games.

They’re already looking forward to the fierce competition next year.


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