Providing health care to America's Veterans

Resources for recovery, finding purpose in adaptive sports, ringing the victory bell, and finding confidence through whole health

Providing health care to America’s Veterans

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is home to America's largest integrated health care system, serving 9 million enrolled Veterans each year. Join your fellow Veterans. Here are some of their stories.

image of Chris VanSant

After nearly 600 combat operations, a Veteran faced
invisible enemies

He had a feeling of invincibility. He was the best of the best and could do anything
he wanted. A year later he was lost and felt useless. He had hit rock bottom and
wanted to go away forever.

Read how Chris VanSant found the courage to work hard, keep pushing forward
and recover. 

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woman on ski equipment along with man behind pushing

Army Veteran finds purpose in Adaptive Sports – and a new career

After a spinal injury left her in a wheelchair, Army Veteran Desiree Emilio-Duverge reinvented herself by embracing change, learning to use adaptive equipment and finding a new passion in adaptive sports. “It changed me to my core,” she said. “I needed adrenaline, not pity." 

She also embraced possibilities for a new career, which is what led her to
Compensated Work Therapy.

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Older man ringing victory bell

Cancer patient’s final treatment ends with a victory bell

After eight weeks of radiation treatments and chemotherapies for throat cancer, Veteran Anthony Thomas received his last radiation dose but still had one final step before recovery: ring the victory bell. 

“To ring that bell, you’ve earned it. I’ve earned it. I really have,” said Thomas. “To me, it’s a glorious feeling because that bell means it’s over.”

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self portrait of Veteran Christopher Young

Veteran reclaims his confidence through Whole Health

Marine Corps Veteran Christopher Young, a former athlete, became immobile due to migraines and other health issues. “It messes with your spirit,” he says. “I know what good shape is and I knew I wasn’t in good shape.”

Now, thanks to his work with Whole Health at Orlando VA, Young has lost 23 pounds and kept it off through healthy eating and exercise. “I just feel happy to be alive and I feel much more outgoing now,” he says.

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