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Program Uses Sports To Help Disabled Veterans

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(Sacramento, CA)
Thursday, June 9, 2011

At the Pannell Center, 50 disabled U.S. military veterans are playing wheelchair softball, working on their form in the discus and scuba diving. 

The city's Annie Desalernos says comraderie and competition are vitally important to helping injured vets adjust to civilian life.  So is the 150 thousand dollar grant for the city's paralympic program from U.S Department of Veterans Affairs and the U.S. Olympic Committee.

ANNIE DESALERNOS: "If they're at home isolating, isolation is the place you develop your negatives."

Shane Simmons is paralyzed from the waist down.  He appreciates the programs.
SHANE SIMMONS: "I don't get out much other than wheeling around in  my chair and stuff, but, I can feel my upper body gets a lot of exercise which is what I need  before I turn into a marshmallow."
The city has already bought new tandem bikes for visually disabled vets and hopes to triple the number of vets served this year.
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