Wounded Warriors Weekend with Wintergreen Adaptive Sports

For nearly twenty years, Wintergreen Adaptive Sports has been providing outdoor sports and recreational adventures for the disabled.

This year, Wintergreen Adaptive Sports (WAS) celebrated their 15th Annual Wounded Warrior Weekend. Beginning in 2004, members wanted a way to use their knowledge, skills and equipment they have acquired over the years to give back to veterans wounded in battle.

“Back then, so many soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines were coming home with amputations and other battlefield wounds,” says Mike Mather, a director for WAS, “we wanted to be a small part of helping these Warriors transition back into an active lifestyle.”

Mather and the rest of the WAS team works vigerously and closely with Veterans Administration hospitals and Military Warrior Transition Units to recruit Warriors for their lessons. WAS has expanded to serve any veteran with a combat-related or service-related injury.

“This event is the highlight of our season,” Mather says, “and it is also the biggest event we put on. Every available volunteer is needed to make it work.”

Most years, about two dozen Wounded Warriors sign up, with their families. This year 20 Warriors made the trip, with another 50 family members.

“We focus on making sure the Warriors and their families can enjoy the event together, so we work on getting the Warriors on snow with their spouses and kids,” Mather continues. “The most fulfilling part of the weekend is showing a Warrior who might think he or she would be left behind on a ski vacation, that they can bomb the same runs, side-by-side, with family. “

The event takes place the first weekend in every February. WAS has made it a point to craft their program to fully include the family members of the Warriors who have also made many sacrifices. All the housing, lessons, and meals are taken care of at no charge.

“It is a small way to honor the service and sacrifices of the Warriors and their families,” Mather says.

WAS focuses solely on the Warriors during the event, but they also offer any Wounded Warrior the same deal any time of their season.

With their advanced training and experience, WAS is able to serve people of all ages with all types of disabilities. For more information on WAS and what they do, visit their website here: https://www.wintergreenadaptivesports.org/what-we-do

Places to Go, Things to See: