“What does it mean for me to be here with my family? It’s the first time that they have been able to see me walk with my prosthetic. Before I was pretty much bed-ridden. It was incredible to get outside and participate in all of the activities. We’ve realized that we can do the same things that we did together as a family before, and although it has changed a little, we are still able to have a great time.”
Robert Louder, Veteran
“Being with other caregivers on the Vail Veterans Program Caregivers Retreat feels empowering and safe. We all understand each other, we’re able to discuss things openly and freely, without having to worry and knowing that we can be there for one another, that’s the most important thing. People that don’t know these things, they want to be there, they want to understand, but they can’t. We know how to help each other get through it, it’s a world of a difference. This is what can make us feel whole again.”
Brandi Melott, Caregiver
“This opportunity/program could not have come at a better time. As a matter of fact, I feel like it was a blessing. This past week was more than a life changer for me. The program gave me insight into how to react to challenges, situations and arguments. I now have the tools to make a difference within my life and the life of my family. I will no longer ponder on the “what ifs” and enclose my mind in the negativity of the events that have happened in my life. I will be a better husband, father and friend by giving more time to those that have always extended their hand to lift me up. The Veterans Path to Success Program at Johnson & Johnson’s Human Performance Institute really impacted my perception of my best self in a positive way.”
Army Sgt. First Class (Ret.) Henry Escobedo
Being at the Vail Veterans Program has been an eye opener for me. I am so protective of Greg and sometimes I wonder if I am more nervous about everything than he is. But seeing him say, “Go faster” when he was horseback riding lifted my confidence in him so much and it is such a relieving feeling. At Walter Reed Medical Center we couldn’t get him to do or say anything at all. Tonight I asked him if he wanted to walk a few steps and he smiled and said, “yep” and walked more than he has ever walked at one time since his injury. I can see that his confidence and happiness is on a whole new level and it is a blessing.
Sgt. Greg Foster (Ret.) & Colleen
Golf, for me, is physical and mental. Physically, golf has improved my balance and core strength, swinging a golf club is no easy task, especially on prosthetics. Mentally, when I get frustrated by the daily obstacles of wearing prosthetics and being in a wheelchair its nice to be to go out and hit a few balls and clear my head. Although therapy is a great reason for me to paly golf, no reason is more important than being able to play golf with my son. Because I have lost my legs I can’t run or jump so I won’t be able to play sport like football or basketball with him. But I can swing a club and will be able to play 18 holes with him when he’s old enough.
Sgt. Tim Johannsen (Ret.)