Veteran prepares for national competition

Veteran prepares for national competition

LAWTON, Okla._One local Vietnam Veteran is putting on his running shoes and hitting the road for a national competition.

66-year-old Lino Roldan-Torres will be competing in The National Veterans Golden Age Games next month. He will be running in the 200, 400, and 1,500 meter races.

He says he's has been running 3 to 4 miles every day since he got word after sending in his application that he would be able to compete in this year's games.

"Being this young I have to stretch. Stretching is good," said Lino Roldan-Torres.

Lino Roldan-Torres isn't like your average retiree, since he left the army as a sergeant first class after twenty years of service. He says he has been adamant about staying active.

"The ways that I look at it as long as I am in good health I will continue to do exercise any type of exercise running, walking, dancing. I love music so any exercise is good."

While he was stationed in Europe Torres says he competed in more than a dozen races.

"I have competed in Italy and Germany in 5K and 10K (races) and things like that and of course in the army I was a master of fitness in the army so it keeps me in shape," he said.

He spends 15 minutes stretching his muscles and doing squats before every run he takes in the morning.

"I always look at the animals dogs and cats the first thing they do in the morning is they stretch and get ready for the rest of the day so we should be doing the same," he said.

He says he wants to be an example for fellow veterans about the importance of staying fit and active.

"To have fun running with a fellow veteran running on my left and my right. That is the important thing. Especially representing veterans," he said.

Torres says at his age is isn't about winning the race anymore it is about making it to the finish line.

"It's okay. If I win that would be great but as long as I finish it that's okay. If I don't that's okay too but I want to be there to compete," he said.

The Lawton chapter 751 of Vietnam Veterans of America is sponsoring his trip to the games in Omaha, Nebraska. The games will be taking place August 8th through the 12th.

You have to be 55 or older to compete in The National Veterans Golden Age Games, which is celebrating its 29th year of competition.