Kayaking, sailing and surfing were three of the activities available to the more than 100 injured veterans who participated in last week's National Veterans Summer Sports Clinic in San Diego, sponsored by the Veterans Affairs Department.
The five-day event offered veterans with mental and physical injuries acquired in the past six years exposure to types of physical exercise and recreation that would be difficult to get otherwise.
Participants, including some recovering from amputations, traumatic brain injuries and psychological trauma, took full advantage of the opportunity to exercise and socialize. Veterans missing arms or legs were among those who braved the surf, while wheelchair-using vets could be seen piloting sailboats or racing on the track. Parties were scheduled for at least two nights, including an awards dinner on the final day.
“The clinic helps wounded veterans return to active lifestyle through physical and mental rehabilitation,” Dr. Robert Petzel, the VA's undersecretary for health, said in a news release.