- Posted September 19, 2013 by
La Jolla, California
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Tell us the Good Stuff!
VETS ENJOY BEAUTIFUL LA JOLLA SHORES
The La Jolla Light reported that the grassy green lawns of La Jolla Shores Park hosted the Summer Sports Clinic presented by the Office of Veteran Affairs on Tuesday, Sept. 17 and Wednesday, Sept. 18.
"Sponsored by Surf Diva, injured veterans were treated to a day at the beach, which included surfing assisted by Surf Diva instructors and volunteers, many of whom are veterans themselves," the Light noted.
Though the weather was warm yet breezy, the many white tents did provide nice shade while the vets enjoyed an al fresco lunch.
The Summer Sports Clinic is one part of the Veterans Affairs' effort to "get the nearly 60,000 veterans who were wounded in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan out of the doctor's office and outside into the world," said a story on the vets in KPBS.
More than 100 injured veterans from across the U.S. partcipated this week for the 6th National Veterans Summer Sports Clinic. I saw several of the vets today, wearing bright yellow swim shirts. They are using outdoor sports and recreational activities such as sailing, cycling, surfing, kayaking to overcome medical issues that are affecting them as part of their experience on military deployment overseas.
According to the VA website, "The Summer Sports Clinic offers adventure sports and recreational activities to those who were recently injured. Complimenting the therapy provided in daily rehabilitation programs, the Clinic shares a glimpse of the many exciting recreational opportunities awaiting those Veterans who accept the challenge. With the variety of water and summer sports available at the Clinic, this week-long journey hosts Veterans from all over the country who have a variety of injuries, ranging from traumatic brain injury and polytrauma, to spinal cord injury or loss of limb. Its fundamental purpose is to provide early intervention for Veterans battling back from injury, not only strengthening their bodies but overcoming and improving their overall being and self-worth."
I was very moved by the sight of a vet in a beach wheelchair. The amputee was sitting in an over-sized chair with two big black rubber wheels and enjoying the waves and surf. I watched as another vet was learning how to surf.
I think it is wonderful that the VA offers such a unique therapy as this. So many times you hear negative things about Veteran Services. But this new program is proving to be popular and shows that the military realizes it must think outside the box when treating the medical and emotional needs of injured veterans. This is proof that U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is committed to improving the quality of life for Veterans with disabilities.
Bravo to the National Veterans Summer Sports Clinic.
photo credit: La Jolla Light.
- My life