Local veteran competes at Golden Age Games

By CourtesyJuly 6, 2023

Local veteran competes at Golden Age Games
Linda Bowers, Fort Johnson Army Education Center guidance

counselor (Photo Credit: Porsha Auzenne)



Public Affairs Office

FORT JOHNSON, La. — Linda Bowers, a Fort Johnson Army Education Center guidance counselor, served in the Army for 22 years, and retired in 1997. When she isn’t working, she enjoys running and a little competition on the side.

She recently participated in the National Veterans Golden Age Games in Iowa. Bowers earned a bronze medal in the 50-meter dash, silver in the 200-meter race, gold in the 100-meter dash and placed fourth in the 1,500-meter run. More than 700 veterans aged 55 and older participated in the events.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs hosts the annual competitive event to encourage veterans to make physical activities a central part of their lives.

Bowers began competing at the games in 2014 in Arkansas. The games are held in different locations each year.

“I’ve registered for games and traveled to Shreveport, Baton Rouge, Lake Charles and more to compete,” Bowers said.

In her performance in Arkansas she won first place for power walking and second place for cycling. Since then, she has continued to participate in the annually held games winning numerous medals for running.

Her love for running began as a child. She continued to run in the Army and would participate in running competitions. That foundation led to her participation in the Golden Age Games.

When traveling for competitions, she enjoys exploring new places while participating in an event she is passionate about. Seeing new places is fun for her, but she said nothing compares to seeing new faces. Bowers has had many experiences competing with fellow veterans.

“I can’t describe how beautiful it is. You meet different people every time you compete,” Bowers said.

When she isn’t competing, Bowers tries to stay active because being healthy is a priority. It’s especially important since she was diagnosed with prediabetes after retiring from the military. Not only is competing good for her physical health, but there are mental benefits as well.

“It’s quality time that I have with my meditation on God, and it’s relaxing,” Bowers said.

She compares running to therapy because of how much it helps her. 

However, it’s not just about having fun, she also takes the competition part of the event seriously. 

“I love competing and will continue to participate as long as I can and have the opportunity to do so,” Bowers said.

The next Golden Age Games takes place August 2024 in Iowa. Until then, Bowers will continue to train for her next opportunity to compete.