Veteran athletes honored in Fresno

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The group of men and women complete in athletic competitions across the country year after year and they were recognized for overcoming obstacles on and off the playing field. (KFSN)

Dozens of Central Valley veterans were honored Monday for their commitment and dedication to being proactive and embracing a healthier lifestyle.

The group of men and women compete in athletic competitions across the country year after year and they were recognized for overcoming obstacles on and off the playing field.

After honoring our country with the national anthem, veteran athletes were honored for their commitment to athletics at the Fresno VA Medical Center.

But staying fit is only one reason why some many of them participate. Frank Renteria is a Vietnam war veteran and he says one of his favorite parts of competing is getting to know the other veterans.

"Whenever we go to the games, we just support each other," he said. "Everybody is cheering for everybody. No matter what event. When you are not competing you go to their events and cheer them on."

Veterans compete in sports that range from swimming to track and field to archery in places like Detroit where the National Veterans Golden Age games take place every summer.

Break the Barriers trains veterans for the Valor Games far west. They noticed the need for veterans to have an outlet for support and a way to stay healthy after serving our country.

"Most of our staff is certified on an Olympic level," Tyler Hergenrader with the group said. "And it just goes to show that these athletes come in and train year round. You can see the success in the medals that they have won."

A WWII veteran honored for his swimming achievements said he's just trying to stay busy at 92 years old and doesn't want to make a big fuss about it.

"It's almost embarrassing but it is nice to know that you are recognized," Louis Bestenheider exclaimed. "So, thank you."
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