NO FUNDING FOR VETS' GAMES.Byline: DENNIS McCARTHY Dennis McCarthy may refer to:
I'm passing the hat today for some great guys at the Sepulveda VA who just found out there isn't money in the Greater Los Angeles Los Angeles (lôs ăn`jələs, lŏs, ăn`jəlēz'), city (1990 pop. 3,485,398), seat of Los Angeles co., S Calif.; inc. 1850. VA's budget to send them to the Golden Age Games this May in Norman, Okla.
The games are the Super Bowl, World Series and Olympics all rolled up in one for hundreds of veterans from VA facilities all over the country who meet and compete athletically.
Our local team of 18 vets always brings home a ton of medals because they work hard all year in a regimented training program.
The benefits to themselves and the public are enormous - even if the VA doesn't think so anymore. Many of these guys find themselves at a VA late in life because they're in bad shape, either from sickness or alcohol and drug abuse.
``I came to the VA a year ago with high blood pressure and cholesterol that was off the charts,'' said 58-year-old Vietnam veteran This article is about veterans of the Vietnam War. For the French psychedelic musical group, see Vietnam Veterans.
Vietnam veteran is a phrase used to describe someone who served in the armed forces of participating countries during the Vietnam War. Turhan Folse. ``Like a lot of vets, basically I had given up.
``Then I see these guys a decade older than me in great shape working out every day in the gym. They changed my life; not the doctors. Now I'm healthy, eating good and on the team.''
Folse brought home a fourth-place medal last year in his age group in the pentathlon pentathlon (pĕntăth`lən), composite athletic event. In ancient Greece it comprised leaping, foot racing, wrestling, discus throwing, and casting the javelin. , which includes events such as the shot put and discus discus /dis·cus/ (dis´kus) pl. dis´ci [L.] disk.
n. pl. dis·ci
A flat circular surface; a disk.
pl. disci [L.]
1. . This year, he's shooting for the gold - if he can scrape up the money to go.
Most of these veterans are living on Social Security and a small pension. They don't have $1,000 for travel.
``The VA has always paid our way because it realizes the incentive these games give vets to stay healthy and in shape,'' said Steve Palmer Stephen L Palmer (born Brighton Suffolk 31 March 1968) was a footballer who played in England in the 1980s and 1990s with Ipswich Town, Watford FC and QPR.
Steve signed for QPR from Watford in July 2001 and made his debut in August of that year in the 1-0 win against Stoke , 82, who brought home a gold medal gold medal
traditional first prize. [Western Cult: Misc.]
See : Prize in the pentathlon, and a silver in the half-mile bike race last year.
The VA knows that if vets stay healthy they stay out of clinics and hospitals, added 70-year-old Don Starler, another team member who brought home two gold medals last year in the half-mile and quarter-mile bike races.
That's why the guys got angry when they found out they would have to pay their own way this year. The VA will pay the full $1,000 cost only to a first-time participant.
``It's mind-boggling,'' said Charley Gray, 70, a veteran of five Golden Age Games. He brought home a gold and silver in bike riding last year.
``They know how important these games are to us, and how hard we work all year to bring home a medal. But I'm barely scraping by, living in HUD Hud (hd), a pre-Qur'anic prophet of Islam. Hud unsuccessfully exhorted his South Arabian people, the Ad, to worship the One God. housing, subsidized sub·si·dize
tr.v. sub·si·dized, sub·si·diz·ing, sub·si·diz·es
1. To assist or support with a subsidy.
2. To secure the assistance of by granting a subsidy. by the government. I don't have $1,000 laying around. I can't afford to go.''
VA spokeswoman Beverly Fitzgerald said budget cuts have made the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System take a hard look at the nonmedical programs it funds.
``We were spending more than $100,000 annually to send participants from West Los Angeles
``We could not justify spending that huge amount on the games when there were other medical costs we could spend the money on.''
She suggests that if people want to help send a veteran to the Golden Age Games, they should contact the VA's voluntary services office.
I've got a better idea. If you want to help, contact the Veterans Advisory Board at Sepulveda VA directly. It's a group of local vets who have been fighting the VA every inch of the way when it tries to justify more and more cutbacks in valuable programs for veterans.
For more information, call (818) 773-1252, or go online to www.vab4vets.com.
Dennis McCarthy, (818) 713-3749
Don Starler, right, shows off his Golden Age medals as, from left, Turhan Folse, Steve Palmer and Charley Gray look on.
Andy Holzman/Staff Photographer