Valor Games Midwest Kick Off in Chicago

"Sports does so much for leadership. It does so much for your self-esteem."

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    NEWSLETTERS

    8/20/2014: The Valor Games are under way, three days of competition in shot put, cycling, archery, rowing and power-lifting to encourage wounded, ill and injured active-duty service members and veterans to push themselves to the limit, despite any post-war challenges. NBC 5's LeeAnn Trotter reports. (Published Wednesday, Aug 20, 2014)

    John Powell has dealt with many health challenges since he served in the Vietnam War, but he never lets that stop him from competing in the Valor Games, which kicked off Wednesday in Chicago.

    To date, he's won more than 100 medals.

    "I do have a will, and there's nothing, not anything I can't do," Powell said.

    That's what the Valor Games are all about -- three days of competition in shot put, cycling, archery, rowing and power-lifting to encourage wounded, ill and injured active-duty service members and veterans to push themselves to the limit, despite any post-war challenges.

    "It's camaraderie," Army veteran Virgial Hill said. "You get to be around your fellow vets, and people understand your stories." 

    "This helps to bring us back," Army veteran Babette Peyton said. "It helps us change the scenario, change the focus. Not about what you can't do, but what you can do."

    Peyton won eight medals at the National Veterans Wheelchair Games last weekend in Philadelphia.

    "Sports does so much for leadership," she said. "It does so much for your self-esteem." 

    The games aren't just about competition, but also about providing veterans with needed resources. The Resource Expo is designed to familiarize veterans with available government and charitable services, as well as critical information for the men and women who sacrificed everything.

    "I served my country," Army vet Dotty Fowler said. "A young man died in my arms. I can't forget it. I wanted to forget some of it, but I'm proud of my country."

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