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Dublin veterans bring home gold medals from National Veterans Wheelchair Games

Meet one of Dublin's own who brought home three medals.

DUBLIN, Ga. — The Dublin VA Medical Center took seven veterans to Portland to compete in the National Veterans Wheelchair Games. All of them brought home medals, and together they won 22 medals. 

17 of those medals were gold.

The competition brings together our nation's disabled veterans to enjoy some companionship and competition. 

Mitchell Wilder spent over two years serving in the Vietnam War. He grew up watching the Olympics as a young boy living in the Kentucky Mountains. 

He always dreamed he'd get to compete on a big, athletic stage one day. So, when he was asked to represent Dublin at this year's competition, he couldn't wait.

"It's so exciting. You just don't know how to handle it," he said. 

He competed in events like soccer and bowling. He said his favorite part was the awards ceremony where he was given three medals to take home. 

He said he loved making new friends at the competition.

Credit: Dublin, GA VA

"Anytime you get out and meet new friends, it's a good thing in life," Wilder said. 

One of his coaches, Tom Fair, said the training they did beforehand paid off because the veterans went above and beyond what he expected of them.

This is his first time back at the games since the COVID-19 pandemic. 

"They served us, and now I'm serving them and I'm going to do the best I can for them," Fair said. 

Wilder said he loved the experience so much, he's already looking forward to competing again next year. 

Congratulations to all the winners!

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