In 2005 the U.S. Census Bureau reported that there were approximately 24.5 million military veterans living in the United States. Of these 24.5 million veterans, 1.7 million are women and 9.5 million are age 65 or older. In fiscal year 2004, the federal government spent $59.6 billion for veterans benefits program.
The 2003-2008 Department of Veterans Affairs Strategic Plan, Strategic Goal One states a desire to: “ Restore the capability of veterans with disabilities to the greatest extent possible and improve the quality of their lives and that of their families.” Although our nations population of veterans is diverse, with members that have served in different periods, countries and conflicts, the health benefits of exercise for any veteran with a disability are documented and it has been shown that many of these individuals do not exercise regularly enough to obtain such benefits.
The total number of veterans receiving compensation for service-connected disabilities is near 2.6 million. The aggregate amount of money received annually by veterans with disabilities is approximately $22.4 billion dollars.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau
It is our belief at the Inclusive Fitness Coalition that increasing awareness and access to physical activity and health promotion programs for veterans with disabilities is a priority of increasing need at this time. Increased levels of physical activity for people with disabilities often positively affects their ability to live independently and achieve the highest quality of life possible. We adhere to the ideal that enabling our injured soldiers, sailors, airmen and other veterans with disabilities to exercise again can provide hope and health on a variety of levels.
To learn more about Veteran's events and news from previous years, please use the "2007", "2008" and "2009" links. You may also be interest in learning more about the National Veterans Wheelchair Games.