Therapeutic Benefits Remain at Top of Sponsors Priorities

HHV Co-Sponsors 22nd Annual Golden Age Games

Aug 13, 2008, 01:00 ET from Help Hospitalized Veterans

    WINCHESTER, Calif., Aug. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- More than 600 senior
 veterans who improved their physical and mental capabilities years ago in
 boot camp will utilize the same skills as they prepare to compete in the
 22nd annual Golden Age Games in Indianapolis, IN beginning on August 20.
 The games are the world's largest recreation and sporting competition for
 senior veterans providing "golden age" veterans with tremendous therapeutic
     Co-sponsored by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Help
 Hospitalized Veterans (HHV) and the Veterans Canteen Service (VCS), the
 Golden Age Games competitions are open to veterans age 55 or older who --
 currently -- receive care at one of the VA medical facilities. The games
 are designed to improve the quality of life for older veterans by
 encouraging them to make physical activity a central part of their lives.
 "Staying active and healthy through sports and fitness is important to all
 our nation's veterans," said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Dr. James B.
 Peake. "We are proud to offer the Golden Age Games as a premier sporting
 event for our senior veterans."
     The VA's National Rehabilitation Special Events program focuses on the
 importance of sports and fitness as a means of therapy. Physical activity
 and friendly competition engage the mind as well as the body and ensure a
 faster and more successful recovery. VA research and clinical experience
 verify the benefit of recreational therapy for the health, recovery and
 overall quality of life for older people.
     HHV's mission revolves around keeping veterans physically and mentally
 active. Its sponsorship of the Golden Age Games is based on the
 rehabilitative benefits this program provides to these veterans. For the
 same reason, HHV also co-sponsors the National Veteran's Creative Arts
 Festival and the VA's newest Special Event, the National Veterans Summer
 Sports Clinic.
     "After HHV's initial co-sponsorship of the games in 2007, we are
 extremely pleased to announce our continued support of this therapeutic
 program," said Mike Lynch, Executive Director of HHV. As a national
 co-sponsor, in just two years HHV has contributed more than $400,000 to
 this program. "We share a similar mission with the VA which is to improve
 the quality of life for veterans suffering from the physical and mental
 injuries of war through the use of a variety of therapeutic programs."
     HHV is focused on improving the recovery process of veterans by
 providing therapeutic arts and craft kits courtesy of their generous
 donors. Art therapy, like recreational therapy, is a proven means of
 rehabilitation for mental, emotional and physical handicaps that has the
 potential to dramatically impact a patient's outcome. Enabling patients to
 become involved in a satisfying, creative activity improves patient morale
 and makes them more responsive to treatment and easier to care for. A four
 year study conducted at 13 VA hospitals found that the craft kits enjoy "a
 98.6% positive response" from veterans. The study, conducted by Health Care
 Data, Inc., concluded that of those veterans using the kits 48%
 demonstrated functional improvement, 45% had improved attention spans and
 51% showed an improvement in overall motivation.
     Other HHV sponsored events and programs that are aimed at improving not
 only the physical rehabilitation of America's veterans, but improve their
 overall mental state of mind. Events such as the new National Veterans
 Summer Sports Clinic, the National Veterans Creative Arts Festival,
 Re-Creation, USA, Bugles Across America and the Wounded Warrior Ministry in
 Landstuhl Germany.
     About HHV
     HHV was founded in April 1971 for the primary purpose of distributing
 therapeutic arts and crafts kits -- free of charge -- to our nation's
 veterans and active duty military personnel receiving treatment at
 Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical centers, military hospitals,
 and state veterans nursing homes. Through its direct mail campaigns, HHV
 strives to educate the public about the many ways they can become
 personally involved in providing additional care to patients receiving
 treatment at these facilities. For more information on HHV and the services
 it provides to our nation's veteran heroes, visit

SOURCE Help Hospitalized Veterans