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Veterans of different eras compete in National Golden Age Games

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Volunteers cheer as Robert Rexanne, 85, finishes his 25 meters freestyle heat in the swimming competition on Monday, June 4, 2012.

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U.S. Navy veteran "Doc" Milligan, 65, competes in the horseshoe competition

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U.S. Army veteran Jerome Beightol, 65, prepares to race in the cycling competition on Monday.

The Orange County Register reports: The 26th National Veterans Golden Age Games are under way in St. Louis, Mo., where nearly a thousand veterans over age 55 are competing in 15 events ranging from cycling and swimming to checkers and shuffleboard.

According to the games' public affairs director, Anthony Hardman, the competition inspires veterans not only to compete, but to "be more active throughout the year." Many athletes are coached by recreation therapists in the VA health care system and train all year for the summer games. These veterans, Hardman says, "become role models for other seniors." Continue reading.

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Golf coach Glenn Paulus assists visually impaired military veteran Wilber Eugene, 72, with a fairway shot during the golf competition.

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Military seniors collect Bingo prizes during an evening recreation event at the National Golden Age Games (Image right) World War II veteran Jack Faust, 101, shows off his medals for bowling and shuffleboard

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Service dog Charlie Brown stands by as former Marine and Vietnam veteran Lester Kushner, 65, competes in the 9-Ball pool competition on Monday.