Friday, March 13, 2009

Over 400 Disabled Veterans Register to Ski at National Event

Over 400 Disabled Veterans Register to Ski at National Event

WASHINGTON (March 13, 2009) - As evidence of what President Barack Obama
called America's "unyielding commitment" to our nation's Veterans, more
than 400 severely injured Veterans will take part in the 23rd National
Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic from March 29 through April 3 in
Snowmass Village, Colo.

The clinic, which is hosted by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
(VA), and co-sponsored by the Disabled American Veterans (DAV),
instructs Veterans with disabilities in adaptive Alpine and Nordic
skiing, and introduces them to a number of other adaptive recreational
activities and sports. This year's clinic will feature a record number
of participants, including many who served in the current conflicts in
Iraq and Afghanistan.

Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki said that he will attend
this year's event and is "looking forward to celebrating the triumph of
the human spirit over both physical adversity and fear of failure." He
believes that the event, and the volunteers who work with Veterans
during it, "give so many young Veterans a glimpse of what is possible if
they keep hope alive. I know of few greater gifts one can bestow on

The clinic is an annual rehabilitation program open to U.S. military
Veterans with traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, orthopedic
amputations, visual impairments, certain neurological problems and other
disabilities, who receive care at a VA medical facility or military
treatment center. It is the largest adaptive event of its kind in the

An estimated 200 certified ski instructors for the disabled and several
current and former members of the U.S. Disabled Ski Team serve as
instructors to meet the unique needs of the participants.

"Now, more than ever, we need events like the Winter Sports Clinic to
challenge and inspire our wounded Veterans," said DAV National Commander
Raymond E. Dempsey. "The complexity of the injuries suffered by some of
our newest disabled Veterans and the health issues facing our aging
Veterans make necessary the most creative and engaging recreational

At the six-day event, Veterans also learn rock climbing, scuba diving,
snowmobiling, curling and sled hockey. They can also participate in
additional events and workshops. The U.S. Secret Service will offer a
course on self-defense.

"DAV is proud to have a committed partner in the Department of Veterans
Affairs," said Dempsey. "Without our friends at VA, these 'miracles'
are not possible."

VA is a recognized leader in rehabilitative and recreational therapies,
and operates more than 1,400 sites of care, including 153 medical
centers. DAV is a non-profit, congressionally chartered Veterans
service organization with a membership of more than one million wartime
disabled Veterans.

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For further information, contact Richard Olague, VA public affairs
coordinator, Winter Sports Clinic, at (202) 461-7541; or (202) 746-8552

Rob Lewis, DAV Communications, at (859) 442-2049, or

Log on to the event's Web site at:

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