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West Valley Focus

NORTH HILLS : VA Hospital Team Shines at Games

August 04, 1993|JEFF SCHNAUFER

When Milo Hastings was hit by flak during a bombing run in World War II, he feared that the partial paralysis in his left leg would keep him from ever winning a swimming medal again.

This week, however, Hastings, 70, was still celebrating his four gold swimming medals from the Seventh Annual Veterans Golden Age Games, where he and other teammates from the Sepulveda VA Medical Center took home more medals than any of the 34 other veteran teams from across the nation.

"I feel very good. Very proud and very happy," said Hastings, who also lost his right leg in a car accident.

The 14-member Sepulveda team, nicknamed "Sadie's Raiders," collected 26 medals overall in events that included biking, tennis, bowling, checkers and pushball. They competed against 420 other senior veterans. The competition was held July 17-23 in Mountain Home, Tenn., and sponsored by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Hastings won in the 50-meter freestyle, 25-meter breaststroke, 25-meter freestyle and 50-meter backstroke. He practiced for the event at the VA center pool, where he rediscovered swimming for therapy after his amputation.

Other winners from Sadie's Raiders included Don Starler, 59, of Arleta; Sherman Schwartz, 74, of Sylmar; Fred Stanberry, 61, of Panorama City; Steve Palmer, 71, of Van Nuys; Jack Hoffner of Reseda; Abe Englander, 76, of North Hollywood; Murry Propper, 72, of North Hollywood; Charles Snowden, 71, of Granada Hills; Dale Walton, 66, of Camarillo; and W. D. Hanson, 66, of Sherman Oaks.

Not only did the victory remind Hastings of the medals that he won as a swimmer at Long Beach Poly High School, it reminded him that he had something to look forward to.

"It reminds you that you're still working," he said. "You're still in there trying."

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