Biloxi VA to host National Veterans Golden Age Games

The Biloxi Veterans Administration Medical Center, which provides care for more than 50,000 veterans throughout Mississippi, Alabama and Florida, has been named the host of the 2017 National Veterans Golden Age Games, a weeklong event that is expected to attract a thousand veterans and their families to the city.

By hosting the games, which are planned for May 7-11 at venues across the Mississippi Gulf Coast, Biloxi joins a list of such previous host cities as Honolulu, St. Louis, Omaha and Detroit. Leaders of the Gulf Coast Veterans Health Care System worked with the Mississippi Gulf Coast Regional Convention & Visitors Bureau to help lure the games to Biloxi and the Mississippi Gulf Coast. 

“Through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the Gulf Coast Veterans Health Care System won the process to host this year’s games,” said Marcus F. Mitchell, local organizing chairman of the games.  “Certainly the Gulf Coast region is rich with active-duty service members, retirees, military families and veterans, making this area and it’s venues worthy of consideration. We believe that this is a worthwhile event for the physical and mental health of our veterans, particularly those in the age bracket we’re targeting. Many studies have been conducted showing the benefits of physical activity for the overall well-being of those that are in their advancing years, and the resultant benefits on their mental state as well.”

Competitive events include air rifle, badminton, boccia, bowling, cycling, golf, horseshoes, nine ball, powerwalk, shuffleboard, swimming, table tennis, and track and field. Exhibition events include: air pistol, archery, basketball, blind disc golf and pickleball. 

Registration for athletes is underway now online, and the the organizing committee is also seeking volunteers and sponsors to help stage the events, which Mitchell says will dovetail with the VA’s long-term mission.

“At the VA, we are proud to create an environment for veterans to believe that they are still viable, contributing members of society,” he said. “These games present an avenue to allow them to compete with others that have similar experiences. We should all realize that not all wounds bleed, and activities like the National Veterans Golden Age Games can be life changing for these veterans.”

Added Carla Carmichael, director of National Veterans Golden Age Games: “VA is committed to offer sports and fitness as an integral part of a successful healthcare program, and I encourage every eligible veteran to take advantage of this opportunity. There are significant health benefits to leading an active lifestyle, and in keeping with the Games motto, we want every veteran to achieve ‘Fitness For Life.'”

Athletes registration: Veterans ages 55 and older and enrolled in VA health care may complete applications online at Applications will be accepted through March 1. 

Sponsors and volunteers:  If you are interested in being a sponsor or a volunteer for the games, contact Marcus Mitchell, 228-523-4347.

More info: To learn more about the games, visit and follow VA Adaptive Sports on Twitter at @VAAdaptiveSport or on Facebook at