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Veteran Wheelchair Games Inspire Hope and Provide Opportunities
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Veteran Wheelchair Games Inspire Hope and Provide Opportunities

When people say disability is not inability, Babette Peyton knows that inside out. The spinal injury she suffered in 2009 didn’t in any way dent her hope -- and she wants the world of the disabled to know about it. Peyton participated in the 36th National Veterans Wheelchair Games held at the Aquatic Center.

She expressed joy and lots of praises for the Veteran Affairs and the Department of Defense officials who allowed her to join the military adaptive sports camp. Peyton suffered the blow of her life during her stint in the US Army. The camp offered an opportunity for the paralympians to train together with veterans like Peyton who had picked injuries and illnesses while serving their people.

Initially, she thought the activity wasn’t necessary for her. Other than the woman factor, she saw her in 2363 jury as an impediment. However, she was able to summon her strength and she confidently threw her hat in the ring. In fact, her childhood dream was rekindled. She always wanted to be an Olympian -- and there she is.

Despite missing the 2016 US Paralympic Archery team by a whisker, she stills believes in her dreams. Peyton hopes that well-wishers will fund and sponsor her so as to keep her 2020 hopes alive.

Indeed, she isn’t disabled but abled differently. Her smiley face signs off every conversation even with people she hasn’t met before. To her, the games aren’t just for competition and medals. They keep her going every day. The energy and excitement drawn from the annual event inspires her for the rest of the year. Furthermore, her interaction with other disabled veteran fires up her world.

Peyton wants to see more disabled women taking part in the games. This year, out of the 537 participants, only 9.8% of them were women. These are numbers Peyton believes should be improved. The injuries varied among the participants. For instance, 100 were quadriplegic, 164 were paraplegic and the amputees totaled 76. For Dennis Gordon who lost his three limbs in the Vietnam War, the games are a source of thrill.

Babette Peyton sees her work already cut out. She hopes she can influence every person to take part in the transformative sports. This way, she believes every disabled person can be productive in the society.

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