Upon returning home from Iraq in 2005, I was largely disengaged from my pre-deployment life. Friends and family became foreign to me and the only time I truly felt at ease was in the company of my fellow servicemembers.

The National Disabled Veteran Winter Sports Clinic was established 25 years ago in an effort to combat that common feeling among disabled Vets. This year, Snowmass Village, Colorado welcomed over 300 disabled Veterans to test their skills on and off the slopes and build camaraderie during the weeklong clinic.

Veterans with disabilities, ranging from traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries to orthopedic amputations, tackled downhill and cross-country skiing, firing at the rifle range, and snowmobiling. Aside from overcoming physical challenges, Vets took part in developing lifestyle skills. They focused on personal rehabilitation and shared tips on how to reintegrate back into society.

What the Winter Sports Clinic really offered was a chance for Vets to bond. Events like this allow Vets a chance to reminisce and encourage one another to overcome obstacles faced both on the slopes and the civilian world.

While the clinic concluded on April 1, the video above offers a glimpse at the power of collective rehabilitation.

View the Section 508-compliant version of this video.

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Published on Apr. 6, 2011

Estimated reading time is 1 min.

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2 Comments

  1. Hooter April 28, 2011 at 11:46 pm

    Very good post…. But the VA needs to expand on such activities and its strategic partnerships with these private sector associations to further promote and encourage veterans of all generations to get out and participate.

  2. Rick April 7, 2011 at 3:00 pm

    The VA is a sham. The mail objective of this organization is to screw the veterans (esp. Viet Nam era) by denying reality.

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