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MAILING ADDRESS (USPS)
PO BOX 6473
VAIL, COLORADO 81658

PHYSICAL ADDRESS (UPS/FEDEX)
12 VAIL ROAD, STE 200
VAIL, COLORADO 81657

Vail Veterans Program is a 501c3 Non-profit Organization.
Tax ID 20-5254885

RECENT NEWS

Vail Veterans Program hosts 23 wounded military on slopes this week
March 14, 2022

VAIL – From being nervous and overwhelmed to now being inspirational and thankful, that progression exemplifies what Crystal Radice-Dunblazer, a retired Army nurse, experienced with the Vail Veterans Program. Radice-Dunblazer is a below-the-knee amputee and had her amputation done at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, TX. She was there for most of 2019 doing… Read more »

VAIL VETERANS PROGRAM BACK ON THE SNOW
January 28, 2022

VAIL – After almost two years, the Vail Veterans Program welcomed 11 veterans and their families back to Vail Mountain this week. The Vail Veterans Program, which was formed in 2004, offers military injured and their families free world-class therapeutic programs designed to build confidence, create lifelong relationships and tap into the freedom the mountains… Read more »

Jen Brown is new director of Vail Veterans Program
January 4, 2022

VAIL – The Vail Veterans Program, a nonprofit organization providing therapeutic and rehabilitative outdoor sports programs for wounded military service members and their families, has named Jen Brown as the organization’s new executive director. Brown is a well-respected community leader in the valley. Prior to joining the Vail Veterans Program, Brown worked as the managing… Read more »

Introducing Veterans to Skiing

Greg Gadson & The Vail Veterans Program

Greg Gadson is an Army veteran. He spent 26 years serving our country in the big conflicts of the past three decades. He’s an inspiration, a leader and now a skier.

In 2007, Gadson was serving in Iraq when an injury cost him both his legs and damage to his right arm and hand. Three months after his injury, he was offered an opportunity to visit the Vail Veterans Program, which was set up to help wounded warriors and their families rebuild confidence and provide a sense of freedom after catastrophic injuries. At the time, Gadson’s kids were 13 and 14 and were certainly affected by their dad’s catastrophic injury. He accepted the invitation and headed to Vail with his family.

Reflecting on his first trip with the Vail Veterans Program, Gadson provides a truly moving account. “The Vail Veterans Program really changed my life and that of my family,” he said. “My whole being was turned upside down. My kids now had a father without legs. The Vail Veterans Program helped right things for me and my family. It is absolutely profound.”

The program reintroduced Gadson to skiing in March 2008. He now tries to hit the slopes a few times each winter. Skiing, he says, restores a part of him. He feels a bond to the natural environment and loves the mountainscapes, the wind in his face, the sense of freedom.

Gadson is a burly guy. “250 pounds of sex appeal and steel,” he says. He uses a monoski with a sit-ski rig (another 35 pounds) and cruises the slopes at over 40 miles per hour. The speed puts a lot of stress on his monoski. After suffering broken skis every three days, Gadson was ready to try something new. Enter Wagner and a new challenge for our ski engineers and builders. We’re still dialing in specs and materials but Gadson finally got to ski a whole season on a single durable ski.

The topsheet graphic tells a story from his life, with the photo of a 155mm howitzer he spirited out of Schofield Barracks in Hawaii to use in Afghanistan. He’s reminded of that epic adventure each time he skis.

“Life goes on,” Gadson says. “The world doesn’t stop. You may have an event in your life that changes how you do things, but it doesn’t mean you can’t do things. Make the most of what you have.”

The Vail Veterans Program helps Veterans and their families beyond outdoor activities. They work on the mind, body and spirit, incorporating various trainings into their programming. It’s an approach to the entire journey of life, not just a short-term recovery solution for Veterans and their families. If you are interested in supporting a cause, Gadson wants you to know that the Vail Veterans Program helps those that defend our nation through their own tough and personal situations. It has changed his life for the better and that of his family.

So, what’s next for Gadson? Heliskiing of course!

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