- Program Aims to Meet Needs of Recently Wounded Veterans
Of the 28 veterans attending, 70% have been injured within the last year. “We’ve witnessed an increase in the number of wounded warriors and their levels of injury over the past couple of years,” said Harvey Naranjo, an occupational therapist at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. “Vets are returning with multiple limb losses and secondary medical issues. The Vail Veterans Program helps these individuals improve their level of physical function, social skills and self-esteem.”
The four-day complimentary program will help men and women who have been severely wounded while serving in Afghanistan and Iraq reunite with their loved ones and reestablish abilities of everyday life. Veterans will be treated to private adaptive ski or snowboard lessons through the Vail Snowsports School, while family members can partake in group lessons. Additional activities include tubing and ski biking at Vail’s Adventure Ridge.
“Outside of the physical benefits of the snow sports, the Vail Veterans Program increases morale and gives our warriors a healthy mental outlook,” said Naranjo. “I believe that mental health is 90% of the recovery process.”
The Vail Veterans Program began in 2004 and has hosted 20 winter and summer programs over the past seven years. “The commitment of Vail Resorts and Vail Resorts Echo to the Vail Veterans Program is instrumental in changing the lives of these injured heroes and revitalizing relationships with their loved ones,” said Cheryl Jensen, Vail Veterans Program founder and executive director. “We’ve been able to share the program with more than 350 wounded warriors since starting and have created life-long bonds between the veterans, instructors and other volunteers.”
The program is made possible by generous individual donors as well as organizations such as Vail Resorts Echo, Wounded Warrior Project, Frontier Airlines and various Vail lodging properties. “It is a tremendous opportunity for the community far and wide to extend its gratitude for those who’ve selflessly served our country,” said Jensen.
For more information about the Vail Veterans Program, visit www.vailveteransprogram.com. For information about Vail Resorts Echo, visit www.vrecho.com.
About Vail Resorts
Vail Resorts, Inc., through its subsidiaries, is the leading mountain resort operator in the United States. The Company's subsidiaries operate the mountain resort properties of Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone mountain resorts in Colorado, and the Heavenly Ski Resort and Northstar-at-Tahoe Resort in the Lake Tahoe area of California and Nevada, and the Grand Teton Lodge Company in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The Company's subsidiary, RockResorts, a luxury resort property and hotel company, manages casually elegant properties across the United States and in the Caribbean. Vail Resorts Development Company is the real estate planning, development and construction subsidiary of Vail Resorts, Inc. Vail Resorts is a publicly held company traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: MTN). The Vail Resorts company website is www.vailresorts.com and consumer website is www.snow.com.
About Vail Resorts Echo – Commitment that Resonates
Vail Resorts Echo, the Company’s social responsibility and environmental stewardship program, enables us to preserve and care for our communities and the spectacular natural environment that surrounds our resorts. It’s a philosophical approach to how we operate our business, being continually aware of how our decisions and actions resonate with our five stakeholders: our employees, shareholders, guests, communities and the environment. Vail Resorts Echo encompasses three core efforts --charitable giving, volunteerism and environmental stewardship. It is our hope that Vail Resorts Echo continues to reverberate positively in the places where we live, work and play for generations to come.
About the Vail Veterans Program
Since 2004, the Vail Veterans Program, a Vail, Colo.-based 501(c)(3) volunteer organization, has been providing rehabilitative support to recently wounded United States military personnel who have been severely injured while serving our country abroad. The Vail Veterans Program offers skiing, snowboarding and outdoor summer recreation activities wounded veterans at no cost to the participant and his or her guest. The program focuses on abilities, not disabilities and allows veterans to rediscover confidence within themselves. The Vail Veterans Program website is www.vailveteransprogram.com.
phone: (970) 476-4906