Vail Daily letter: Empowering lives of our heroes |

Vail Daily letter: Empowering lives of our heroes

I wanted to extend a heartfelt thank you to our entire community for the warm welcome you gave to the Wounded Warriors and their families that attended our two winter programs this year. We hosted a total of 56 Wounded Warriors from across the nation and 74 of their family members that included 43 children. At the Vail Veterans Program, we provide an opportunity to empower injured military and their families through innovative and transformational programs that build confidence and enhance their lives. Our organization evolves to meet the needs of the wounded service population and the needs of their families.

I wanted to share a couple comments from our participants:

“I served in Afghanistan. I love doing anything outdoors. I love skiing, hiking and all of the shooting sports. I would like to inspire people, especially now — it’s a unique challenge. I think the one thing I will remember most about this experience of being in Vail is that feeling of just skiing. When you forget about the accident, you forget you’re an amputee, you forget you’re sitting down even, and you just ski and let everything else go.” — Harold Bologna, 48, retired U.S. Navy Special Ops. Master Chief.

“My husband’s name is Kade, he was injured in Iraq in 2005. I was 18 and we were just dating. We had no idea how his injuries were going to affect not just his life but also my life. He spent two years at Walter Reed and his right leg is amputated. He also has a traumatic brain injury. When he came home from Walter Reed our home was completely inaccessible. It upped my game a lot. I struggled as a caregiver to find my way. Now 11 years later we finally found our groove in part thanks to our therapists and Vail Veterans Program.” — Becky Hinkhouse, 28 years old from Elizabeth.

Thank you to all of our sponsors, donors and volunteers — your support has changed the lives of our nation’s heroes.

Cheryl Jensen

Executive director, Vail Veterans Program

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