Dragons blaze across the water

first_imgPaddle for Life: paddleforlife.orgDisabled Veterans Water Sports Program: dvwsp.orgDouble Fifth Dragon Boating: doublefifth.comVANCOUVER LAKE — Melissa Kilgore said she had a mere five days to put together her dragon boat team of veterans with disabilities to compete in Sunday’s Paddle for Life competition.It worked out.“We took first and second of the novice teams, ” she said.The 11 members of Kilgore’s Vets represent four branches of the Armed Services. Kilgore, 42, of Portland served in the Army from 2002 to 2006, including 14 months in Iraq. She suffered neck, back and foot injuries, and post-traumatic stress disorder.Proceeds from Sunday’s 18-team event go to the Disabled Veterans Water Sports Program, which offers water sports on Vancouver Lake.“What I love about (dragon boat racing) is the team camaraderie,” Kilgore said. “You have to keep your mind in the game. It’s a lot of fun. It’s a lot of laughing and splashing.”La Center’s Tony Davis, another of Kilgore’s Vets, was a Navy helicopter rescue swimmer.Tiffany Jones, 18, of Team Fusion walked ashore looking exhilarated. And drenched. “You didn’t happen to bring extra pants, did you?” she asked her stepmom.Of dragon boat racing, Jones, a Mt. Hood Community College student, said, “I’ve been doing it for four years. I like the adrenaline rush.”last_img

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