Marine Vet competing in Wheelchair Games

Published 10:32 pm Friday, August 5, 2011

Suffolk’s Roderick Slaughter, here in the National Veterans Wheelchair Games in Spokane, Wash. two years ago, is in Pittsburgh for this year’s National Veterans Wheelchair Games. Slaughter, a Marine Corps veteran, placed third in the open archery competition. He’s also participating in nine-ball, air rifle, discus and softball. With almost 600 athletes, the Games is the largest annual wheelchair sports event in the world.

Roderick Slaughter always goes all out when it’s time for the National Veterans Wheelchair Games.

Slaughter, a 50-year-old Marine Corps veteran and Suffolk resident, is competing in archery, nine-ball billiards, discus, softball and air gun at the world’s largest annual wheelchair sporting event in the world as the Games conclude in Pittsburgh on Saturday.

The National Veterans Wheelchair Games are for veterans with spinal cord injuries, amputations or neurological problems. Slaughter is paraplegic.

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So far in Pittsburgh, Slaughter finished third in the open division of archery.

Slaughter was introduced to the Games, both the summer and winter Games, in 2008. Athletes can enter in up to five events, and that’s what Slaughter does. He took up skiing during the winter Games. He placed in the air rifle and billiard competitions in 2009 in Spokane, Wash.

Two years ago was Slaughter’s first time playing softball. His team won the gold with an undefeated record.

For the team sports during the Games, such as softball, there are no organized teams. A mix of experienced and rookie players come out, are picked onto teams at the start of the week, and play from there.