“Inspirational” was the word spoken most often by the hundreds of athletes, family, friends, care-givers and volunteers attending the 32nd annual National Veterans Wheelchair Games this June. The annual event returned to its inaugural location, Richmond, VA, in 2012 for a week-long series of events that challenge wheelchair-bound athletes to realize their abilities and potential through sports. “The strength and perseverance demonstrated by the amazing athletes who competed in 17 sporting events as a form of rehabilitative therapy was exhilarating,” said Booz Allen Principal Beth Mahan.
This National Veterans Wheelchair Games, presented annually by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Paralyzed Veterans of America, is the largest wheelchair games event in the world. The games are open to all military veterans who use wheelchairs for sports competition as a result of spinal cord injuries, certain neurological conditions and amputations or other mobility impairments.
Booz Allen has been a proud supporter of the Wheelchair Games for 3 years, and this year the firm was a gold sponsor. More than 25 volunteers from 8 different Booz Allen offices showed their spirit of service at the field, air guns, and motor rally events and as fans-in-the-stands at the firm-hosted championship basketball games.
“The resilience and enthusiasm of the athletes was awe-inspiring,” said Booz Allen Senior Consultant Sarah Saxton. “Here we were, in 105 degree Richmond heat, and we never once heard a complaint from the competitors but rather heard only sincere gratitude for the games and respect for their fellow Veterans. We were lucky to witness the games and, more importantly, lucky to be involved.”
“Booz Allen’s commitment to America’s Veterans extends beyond the office,” Mahan continued. “Opportunities like the National Veteran’s Wheelchair Games give employees the chance to give back to this deserving population each year at a rewarding event for both volunteers and participants.”