|Category:||Caring for Communities|
|Tags:||Department of Veterans Affairs, employees, military, National Veterans Wheelchair Games, Paralyzed Veterans of America, UPSers, veterans|
It’s Friday evening. The phone rings. The caller says, “A part for my bike isn’t going to be delivered until Monday, and I need it for a race tomorrow morning. Can you help?”
The race happened to be the National Veterans Wheelchair Games (NVWG) in Pittsburgh, Pa. And that athlete was one of more than 600 who competed in last’s year event.
Immediately, a team of UPSers worked together to locate the package and rerouted it to one of our facilities near the race site. Within hours of receiving the athlete’s call, the package was delivered.
The next afternoon that athlete called to tell me he had won the gold medal in handcycling. That brought a tear to my eye and a smile to my face.
NVWG is the largest wheelchair sports competition with veterans competing in 17 different types of sports. The week-long event is presented by Paralyzed Veterans of America and the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Veterans who use wheelchairs come together for a week of rigorous competition in events like basketball, rugby, softball, handcycling, slalom and others – with many competing in more than one event.
For 25 years, UPSers, along with their families and friends have come together to volunteer. In the middle of the night they load and transport athlete’s luggage to and from hotels or they set up competition courses. During the competition they serve as official time keepers, help reset courses and cheer on athletes. A few have the distinct honor to present competition medals.
This year’s games are scheduled for June 25-30 and return to where it all began – Richmond, Va. – the site of the first competition in 1981.
I’ll be there along with a few hundred of my fellow UPSers and I’m sure we’ll all have some legendary stories to share about these heroes by weeks’ end.
Follow @UPS on Twitter for updates and photos from the games.