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Representatives of the James A. Haley Veterans Affairs Medical Center in nearby Tampa, Fla., testified, as did community providers and individual veterans who personally benefited from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recreation therapy program.

“I am proud that Florida is a national leader in providing recreation therapy to disabled veterans,” Mr. Bilirakis said. “Recreation therapy has proven to be an effective treatment that improves an injured veteran’s physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health through activities aimed at increasing self-sufficiency and quality of life.”

The objective of recreation therapy is to achieve a high degree of wellness and lifelong health. It is a patient-centered and activity-based therapy that takes a holistic approach to rehabilitation. Research and clinical evidence indicate that recreation therapy can provide a diversity of benefits to those with a wide range of physical and mental disabilities.

VA long has been a pioneer in using the tools of recreation therapy to treat veterans, and the recreation therapy curriculum has become one of the department’s most inventive and dynamic programs.

“Our wounded warriors have gone above and beyond the call of duty to protect American freedoms,” Mr. Miller said. “They have earned and deserve every effective measure of therapy we as a grateful nation can provide.

“Recreation therapy is perfectly suited to veterans who are used to living an active lifestyle and show almost immediate positive responses when involved in this innovative program. I fully support VA’s endeavors in this regard and hope to see more disabled veterans benefiting from recreation therapy in the future.”