CHICAGO (CBS) — For the past six summers, wounded veterans have competed in the Valor Games in Chicago, giving them the opportunity to go head-to-head in a number of adaptive sports.
But to the surprise of many vets, the Games won’t be coming back this summer.
“I was told that the grant from the Department of Veterans Affairs was denied,” said David Garner, a Valor games participant.
The Chicago Park District ran the event last summer, but says their grant was denied and the games won’t be happening.
“If they just up and cancel it for any reason, it’s saying that you don’t care about the disabled veterans,” Garner said, who’s a disabled vet and served between 1972 and 1976.
Since 2011, Garner has competed in the Valor Games Midwest, a multiple-day event that attracts athletes from all over the region. And he said his injury has never been a crutch.
“When you have a disability, it helps to know you can do anything that you want to do.”
Although the Valor Games are gone, the Chicago Park District said the Warrior Games will be in the city next month, which is a different event for wounded vets that is backed by the Department of Defense. In order to compete, you have to be in the Wounded Warrior Program, which is only for post 9/11 vets. That would exclude hundreds of veterans who participate in the Valor Games each summer.
The Park District did not provide further information as to why the funding did not come through this year.