Hundreds of disabled veterans take part in Valor Games

Friday, May 30, 2014
More than a hundred disabled veterans are participating in the Valor Games on Coast Guard Island. The first event of the competition is archery.

"After you get hurt, your whole life changes," US Marine Corps veteran Jataya Taylor said.



But true to the spirit of the corps, you never give up. Taylor, a disabled Marine, is just one of dozens competing in the Valor Games, a 3-day adaptive sports competition for veterans and service members with physical and visual disabilities.

"It's putting yourself out there, learning to do something new and having people there willing to work with you to figure out how to do it new and the Valor Games brings that," Taylor said.

Taylor cannot stand or fully lift her right arm, which means she is forced to compete in the sport of archery, differently. The arc of her bow must be stabilized and to get enough force behind the arrow she has to alter her release. Difficult for anyone, but remember, we're talking about the men and women of the United States Armed Forces who served their country proudly. The attitudes are upbeat, their struggles are familiar and their determination is evident.

"We make sure that we can help each other to get the best out of what we still have in our lives," Jeff Deleon said.

Deleon has been in a wheelchair for 15 years. And Navy veteran Sean Ryan has used a wheelchair for three. Deleon says the Veterans administration's spinal cord rehab introduced them both to adaptive sports, a moment that changed his life.

"Absolutely, there's times when the VA has come through 100 percent. I'm one of the guys that never had a bad word to say. They've always taken care of me, made sure I had the equipment I need to do what it is that I want to do," Deleon said.

And what he wants to do, like every athlete at the event is to win. These veterans refuse to be limited.

"I only have so much of it, I'm going to do everything I can with it," Taylor said.
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