Vail, CO. – March 3, 2019— Vail Veterans Program (VVP), a national provider of therapeutic programs for wounded Veterans and their families, commemorates its 15-year anniversary March 3 – 8, 2019 during the Winter Mountain Adventure program. With the support of a dedicated community of individual donors, corporate sponsors, volunteers, and staff, VVP has transformed the lives of over 3,000 wounded Veterans and family members from across the nation.
In 2003, just months after the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom, the number of military service injuries dramatically increased. VVP Founder, Cheryl Jensen, felt compelled to find a meaningful way to provide support to service members who were injured. Recognizing the powerful impact of adaptive sports on people with physical and invisible injuries (i.e. PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury), Jensen wanted to offer these recently wounded Veterans the opportunity to heal through adaptive sports in the uniquely empowering mountain environment. Together, with then Army Captain David Rozelle who lost his leg while serving in Iraq in 2003, they secured funds to cover all costs associated with hosting patients of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Vail, CO. In 2004, seven patients arrived in Vail Valley for the first Vail Veterans Program. “VVP began as a one-time event, but the strength of our program over the last 15 years is based on forming relationships between our service members and their families. Our participants are empowered by each program they attend as they discover their own path to success,” said Lt. Col. David Rozelle, VVP Board Member.
Since that first program VVP has responded to the evolvingneeds of wounded Veterans by expanding programs to include families, caregivers, and ongoing transitional support. While adaptive sports programming has been a focus of VVP since its founding, the organization continues to evolve and create programs that engage alumni, empowering them to act as mentors and to receive support throughout their own life-long recovery process.
“As VVP commemorates this benchmark, it also looks to the future,” said Jensen. “After 15 years, Vail Veterans Program is committed now more than ever to its vision of cultivating a nationwide community of Veterans and their families by providing innovative programs that strengthen lifelong relationships and reinforce purposeful lives.”
About Vail Veterans Program:Since 2004, Vail Veterans Program (VVP) has provided military injured and their families with innovative and transformational programs that build confidence and improve lives. Programs equip injured Veterans and their families with the tools to successfully face the physical and emotional challenges of transitioning into life after a severe military service injury. The outcomes of VVP programming include healthy recovery, personal growth and the building of lifelong communities of mutual support. These world-class therapeutic programs are provided free of charge to injured Veterans and their families and are designed to tap into the freedom the mountains bring out in all of us. For more information visit, www.vailveteransprogram.org.