United States veteran Thomas Counihan was chosen from the Dallas, TX area to train for 9-weeks (length of a traditional bootcamp) with the Adaptive Training Foundation to prepare for a week of skiing/snowboarding at Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows in the 2018 Military to the Mountain Program. The Military to the Mountain Program started with US Marine Core Veteran Corporal Jacob Schick in March 2015 returning to the slopes, and through media and generous donations from Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows and many more, the program will see 22 US veterans sliding down snow in March 2018.
Thomas Counihan IV was born in Fort Myers, FL on May 26, 1990. Raised in West Palm Beach, FL he graduated from Seminole Ridge High School in 2008 as the swim team captain with a 100% Florida Bright Futures Scholarship. After attending Univ. of Central Florida for a short time he decided to answer the call and joined the US Army, just before his 19th birthday.
After completing training as a Combat Engineer in Feb of 2010 he was stationed at Ft. Polk, LA with 4th BSTB 10th Mountain Division. They deployed in October of 2010 to Logar, Afghanistan as a Route Clearance Package or RCP. While escorting a supply unit back to FOB Shank, just weeks before he was scheduled to return home for R&R, Thomas’s vehicle was struck by an IED. The blast was devastating to his right leg but luckily there were no other injuries in the vehicle. Several weeks later, after much consideration, Thomas decided to amputate the remaining parts of his right foot.
Recovery was a long road but Thomas found renewed strength and hope when he returned to his favorite sport, Surfing. This carried over to all aspects of his life and he pushed harder than ever taking up activities like flying light sport airplanes and paramotors, rock climbing, spearfishing, hiking, snowboarding and many other outdoor activities. Today, he enjoys life traveling the US in a school bus he turned into an RV, inspiring other people to go chase down their dreams.
“Never underestimate the power of a high five!”
High Fives has provided:
A physically demanding 9-week training program at the Adaptive Training Foundation, ski gear from Sync, a week of skiing with the professionals at Achieve Tahoe, and Rentals, Food and Accommodations from Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows. He was part of the surf team for the US open in oceanside and he participated in the San Clemente surf camp.