Crested Butte, CO Mar. 31--This week, more than 300 veterans took to the slopes of Crested Butte for the National Disabled Sports Clinic. This event, sponsored by the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) and the Disabled American Veterans (DAV), is held annually to assist veterans in their rehabilitation with spinal cord injuries, amputations, neurological conditions, visual impairments, and other disabling injuries.
Throughout this week-long clinic dubbed, "Miracles on the Mountainside", the vets learn adaptive Alpine and Nordic skiing while being introduced to many other adaptive activities including rock climbing, scuba diving, wheelchair self-defense, and wheelchair basketball.
"Many veterans coming to the clinic believe they can no longer have a physically active and exciting lifestyle after spending months and even years in hospitals," said DAV National Commander, Michael E. Dobmier.
"But, miracles happen on the mountainside at Crested Butte, and the lives of disabled veterans attending the clinic are forever changed when they discover the many extraordinary things they can achieve."
This year's attendees got a special treat when Miss America, Heather French, showed up. French is the daughter of a disabled veteran and has adopted as an official platform during her reign, "The Forgotten Heroes: Honoring Our Nation's Homeless Veterans."
She travels some 20,000 miles each month to raise public awareness of veterans' issues. French has vowed to, "help homeless veterans fight the battles they face on our nation's streets."
Throughout the week, French offered a helping hand and participated with many of the activities.
"She undoubtedly has been an inspiration to these men and women who have given so much in service to this country as they overcome barriers to living life to the fullest," added Dobmeier.