SHREVEPORT, La. - It's more than 3,000 miles away and this time of year the sun barely sets below the horizon, so why would a group of local veterans decide to head north to Alaska? Well, the same reason they proudly and bravely served our country overseas to see what they were made of.

It's all part of the "National Veterans Golden Age Games."

"We spent a lot of time up here in this gym as well as on our own time, just doing what we gotta do. Each one of us have our own events and we have to get ready for those events and do what we gotta do," said Army veteran Jackie Perry.

The national competition is designed to improve the quality of life for all older veterans, including those with a wide range of abilities and disabilities.

Michael Brooks, a retired member of the Airforce said, "you're not there to win medals you're there to make friends and have fun, that's the way I look at it. Most other people that go feel the same way."

Each veteran is from a different branch of the armed forces, participated in a number of events - from track and field, swimming, even bowling

"It's an amazing experience to not only go all the way to Alaska, but to be able to do something like that with my fellow veterans is incredible," said Lester Wyatt, who served in the Army.

Wyatt had quite a story. He planned to compete in golf, but had to rent golf clubs at the course and wear tennis shoes. He nearly shot his age and won the gold.

Other veterans appreciated the experience and the thrill of competing.

Shelton McRarry, a retired member of the Army told KTBS, "I love it. We train for this for months and then finally able to see what we got. I may even focus on some new events next year."

Next year's "National Veterans Golden Age Games" will be held in Madison, Wisconsin.

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