17 Baltimore area veterans to compete in National VA Golden Age Games

Posted at 6:31 PM, May 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-03 18:31:39-04

A group of local veterans are not spending the weekend doing what you would expect. They are competing in the National VA Gold Age Games in Biloxi, Miss.

The team of 17 completed their final workout Wednesday at the Loch Raven VA Community Living and Rehabilitation Center. The veterans, who range in age from 55 to 91, will compete in bowling, shuffleboard, nine ball and horseshoes for the week-long event.

Last year, the team of 22 came home with 17 medals.

John Dix, a 91-year-old World War II veteran who calls himself the boss, a team captain if you will, is always making sure to keep his teammates' spirits remain high.

"I ask them how they feel, speak to them, say something nice to them to try and get a laugh, make them smile, make them forget about their troubles," Dix said between reps on the Lat Pulldown.

"I enjoy seeing them being out going with one another, respecting one another and just being a family, just helping another one out," said Sharon Taylor-Johnson, coach and kineisotherapist at the VA Maryland Health Care System.

While the team supports one another and other veterans, they are not shy about being bold in the heat of competition.

"They are very competitive," Taylor-Johnson said. "They are hard workers and they enjoy being competitive with all the veterans they meet at the games."

The National VA Gold Age Games are Sat., May 6 through Thurs., May 11.