18 Veterans Ready To Skate, Ski And Curl Their Way To Gold

USA Paralympian Jen Lee in goal. Photo courtesy: US Department of Veterans Affairs.

The 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics flame is extinguished – but that doesn’t end the quest of U.S. athletes for gold.

Opening Friday, March 9, at the same South Korean venue, Team USA will field 74 athletes to compete in the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games.

And one quarter, 18, of those athletes are veterans and active-duty military.

And, as a confessed hockey fan, I’m proud to say a third of veterans are playong on the USA sled hockey team:

Thanks to the work of Mike Molina, a VA public affairs specialist, and VAntage Point author Mei-Mei Chun-Moy, a VA intern, you can meet all 18 of the veterans on Team USA competing in the 2018 Winter Paralympics.

You can read their story in VAntage Point, the official blog of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

And you also can follow the 2018 Winter Paralympic Games here.


New VA Benefits for Some Veteran Athletes

The Veterans’ Administration is partnering with the U.S. Paralympics to provide a monthly allowance to some veterans in training for the Paralympics.

Photo courtesy of the U.S. Paralympics Military Camp website.

Under the new rule, the VA will pay the allowance to a Veteran with a service-connected or non-service-connected disability if the Veteran is invited by the U.S. Paralympics to compete for a slot on the U.S. Paralympic team or is residing at a U.S. Paralympic training center for training or competition.

“Our disabled Veterans are models of courage, resilience and determination,” stated Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki in a VA press release. “This new allowance will enable our disabled athletes to further their recovery by taking part in world-class adaptive sports.”

Not all disabled Veterans will qualify for the subsistence allowance, which will be administered by the U.S. Paralympics.The allowance rates start at $554 per month for Veterans without dependents. The current rate table is available here.

Applications for the allowance must be submitted through the U.S. Paralympics. The VA Paralympics Program Office will work closely with U.S. Paralympic Committee to ensure that Veterans who are eligible for retroactive payments are processed in a timely manner.

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