There is a little piece of human nature that can be disturbing. It ranges from people pushing in line to the outright violence some display against each other. We see it on the news every day.
It’s heartwarming to know there is a side of human nature that surely demonstrates the beauty that all of us have inside. It can be the lone stranger helping an individual on the street or the neighbors in a tornado stricken town coming together for each other.
For 10 years The Vail Veterans Program has been in place and it demonstrates how our community comes together. In that time, over a 1,000 severely wounded warriors and their families have come to Vail Mountain to ski and snowboard.
Most everything is complimentary for these special guests. It ranges from breakfast, lunch and dinner from some of the finest restaurants in the Valley to a place to call home at some of the world class accommodations located here (the Antlers of course embraces the concept and is eager to contribute).
The program runs for 3 days and embraces these heroes in January and March. Although these are peak revenue times for our mountain resort, businesses prioritize and donate their time and services while they are here. It is heartfelt and a small concession in comparison to their sacrifice for us.
The specialized equipment required is all donated and and there is actually a waiting list of volunteers and instructors needed to assist the Vets and their families.
Scott Giffin is one of those volunteers and sums up why he wants to help, “They’re amazing. They have such a tremendous attitude. They’re already used to working hard and they’ve been through some tough times….they’ve gotten up from much worse than falling on skis or snowboards.”
Columnist Randy Wyrick of the Vail Daily noted in his coverage ….”the warriors ski, they snowboard, they laugh, they live…..”
The January program is behind us and we look forward to March when at least one family will be staying with us for a complimentary five night stay. We are just a very small piece of the community wide effort that is the Vail Veterans Program. We thank them for their service and their infectious spirit.