More than a hundred of disabled and wounded military veterans as well as active members are participating in the Valor Games Far West in Alameda this weekend.
The inaugural 3-day competition taking place on Coast Guard Island, an active military base just between Alameda Island and Oakland, will have vets face-off in biathlon, rowing, powerlifting, cycling and even archery, among other sports demonstration.
The event, open to any Veteran with a disability who is eligible for VA healthcare, is intended to introduce adapted sports to attendees, according to organizers.
"This game changed my life. About eight years ago, I was in Iraq. I was in IED attack," one competitor Jorge Decastro said.
Another competitor said the Valor Games is "freedom" for some veterans. "You get to do things you didn't think you were able to do," he said.
The Valor Games also features a resource fair with a collection of local businesses, employers and educators who seek to serve veterans in the community, according to organizers.
The weekend event is open to the public but those who want to attend will need to apply for a security clearance, which includes a background check, to enter Coast Guard Island.
The cost spectators is $20 for the background screening and $1.25 for the online processing.