Coming home from overseas conflict takes a measurable amount of adjustment. As a veteran returning home with a disability, you may be faced with many unforeseen obstacles. Moving forward and learning to live differently than before might be a challenge, but it could be looked at as a new chapter. There are a growing number of organizations offering veterans with disabilities special assistance in recreational programs that not only provide a proven means of recovering, but a way to have some fun, too.
The GIVE Program (Golf for Injured Veterans Everywhere) is the result of collaborative efforts between the Iowa PGA, the VA Hospital in Iowa City and the Riverside Casino & Golf Resort. GIVE provides a recreational opportunity on the green that fosters mental, social, physical and emotional health to veterans with disabilities. PGA professionals educate and train participants on all facets of the game, including dress code, driving, club selection and more. You’ll even get some pointers from the pros when they help analyze your putts and shots made from your very own set of clubs.
If golf isn’t your thing, it might please you to know that some may even be free of charge. Adaptive equipment for sports and recreation is available to veterans that have returned home and designated as a disabled veteran at no charge with the help of grants offered through the VA. So long as a veteran is enrolled in VA Healthcare and receiving routine care from a VA facility, he or she is eligible for a sports grant. Grants cover all kinds of equipment that can make the outdoors great, from snowboarding to SCUBA gear, kayaking to climbing, the VA brings you the wheels and working limbs you’ll need to make it happen. All you need is an appetite for adventure and the lust for life that drives all soldiers.
Wounded War Heroes have also made their wants for competition known, and the VA’s reply has been warmly welcomed. The National Veterans Wheelchair Games takes place annually and offers veterans with disabilities an opportunity to overcome obstacles and reap rewards, while teamed with their fellow wounded brethren. As the largest annual wheelchair sports competition of its kind, worldwide, the National Veterans Wheelchair Games offers a week of archery, swimming, weightlifting, basketball, quad rugby and more.
While words may never express the level of gratitude your country holds for your sacrifices, organizations are in place to help you move forward. Programs and adventurous opportunities are always being added to your local VA’s roster, so be sure to stay involved with the VA and inquire about your favorite sports today.
The National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA) is an advocate for mobility and accessibility for drivers with disabilities. If you need help with converting or buying a handicap accessible car, truck or van, please consider one of our mobility equipment dealers.