This year, Veterans with physical disabilities will have more opportunities to get active and involved in sports.

Building on the success of the 2011 and 2012 Valor Games in Chicago, the VA and U.S. Paralympics are collaborating to bring the sports competition series to four cities in 2013. Host sites for this year’s Games include Durham, N.C.; San Antonio, Texas; San Jose, Calif. and Chicago. Funding for the events is provided by VA.

The Valor Games introduce Veterans and service members to a variety of adaptive sports with the goal of inspiring them to new heights of physical activity and wellness.

Expanding the events to four cities makes it easier for Veterans to participate and more cost-effective for them. For Veterans with physical or visual disabilities, participating in sports can be life-changing and empowering. The thrill of competition and activity can awaken confidence and motivation to accomplish goals that had been previously unimaginable.

Just recently, U.S. Paralympics named five athletes to represent the U.S. team at the International Paralympic Committee Nordic Skiing World Championships. All of the athletes named to the team are Veterans.

Veterans or service members of any era qualify to participate in the Valor Games. Physical disabilities may fall into various categories, including: amputation/limb loss; post-traumatic stress; spinal cord injuries; stroke; traumatic brain injuries; visual disabilities and any disability rating from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

As fellow Veterans, federal employees serving Veterans, family members or friends of a Veteran, it’s our commitment to serve those who have served.

I encourage you to learn more about the 2013 Valor Games, including the registration process and volunteer opportunities, by visiting and sharing the websites below.

May 21-23, Durham, N.C. –

June 11-13, San Jose, Calif. –

August 12-14, Chicago, Illinois –

September 24-26, San Antonio, Texas –

Mike Molina is a U.S. Marine Corps Veteran and a Public Affairs Officer at the VA’s Office of National Veterans Sports Programs & Special Events.

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