This past weekend was one of mainly smiles as Wintergreen Adaptive Skiing held it’s 4th annual Wounded Warriors Weekend at Wintergreen Resort. The Wounded Warrior Weekend has grown steadily from its first year when six injured Warriors from Walter Reed Army Medical Center came to Wintergreen to enjoy adaptive snow sports as part of the rehabilitation from their terrible injuries. This year twenty-five warriors, their guests, and health care professionals â€“ almost 60 people in all returned to Wintergreen Resort.
Captain Lonnie Moore, US Army(R), a participant in every Wounded Warrior Weekend, said â€œI feel gratitude to WAS because skiing helped me get off my tail and get back to thriving, goal setting, and living after my injury.â€ In April 2004, Captain Moore lost his right leg outside Ramadhi , Iraq when an RPG slammed into his Bradley Fighting Vehicle. Nine months later he was at Wintergreen learning to ski on his one good leg.
Shortly after his experience at Wintergreen, Moore retired from the Army and went to work for the Wounded Warrior Project, an organization whose mission is to help severely injured service members to aid and assist each other, and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs. Today, Moore continues to help other severely injured servicemen and women as the Western Area Director for the Florida-based Wounded Warrior Project.
The mission of Wintergreen Adaptive Skiing is to establish, operate, and maintain educational programs that encourage children, teenagers, and adults with disabilities to learn to ski. The program provides standard and adaptive equipment, as well as trained volunteer instructors, both adult and teenaged. Skiing offers disabled individuals profound therapeutic benefits, including increased physical vitality and stamina, as well as important improvements in overall mental and emotional health.