High Fives Non-Profit Foundation program pushes injured veterans out of their comfort zone and into the mountains
Experiencing a life-altering injury in the name of duty for the United State Military comes with two forms of pain — physical and emotional.
The High Fives Foundation in Truckee, Calif. and the Adaptive Training Foundation in Dallas, Tex. have teamed up to form a program called Military to the Mountains. 15 injured US Military Veterans will be trained for nine weeks at the Dallas facility, preparing them for a week of skiing at Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows in California from April 3 to April 9, 2017. The Veterans are instructed by Achieve Tahoe adaptive ski program.
“The goal of the program is to offer wounded war-fighters an opportunity to tap back into their physicality by pushing through mental and physical barriers,” said David Vobora, Founder and CEO of the Adaptive Training Foundation. “Experiencing the mountains for the first time post-injury redefines their limits and ignites new passion to take ridge lines they no longer thought were possible.”
The entire effort is completely organized and funded by the High Fives Foundation whose mission is to provide resources and inspiration to mountain action sports athletes with life-altering injuries.
“I want to show the doctors that amputation was the right way to go and I’m excited to get back out on the mountain,” says Veteran Marine Ryan Zimmerer. “As a veteran of the Military to the Mountains Program, I can’t wait to get back out in the snow with the rest of the crew to show them what I learned last year.”
Zimmerer is just one of the 15 disabled veterans from the Adaptive Training Training Foundation in Dallas, Tex. participating in the High Fives Foundation Military to the Mountains Program. Zimmerer participated in last years’ program and has since amputated his left leg below the knee. Prior to the amputation, Zimmerer had experienced pain and neurological problems in the leg for years.
In 2015, Military to the Mountains inspired Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows ski resort located in the Lake Tahoe area of California to join the program. The resort now provides a Silver Tahoe Super Pass to military personnel, along with a note of appreciation and a challenge coin for a donation of $25, of which all proceeds support the Military to the Mountains program and 22Kill, an organization working to raise awareness to the suicide epidemic that is plaguing US military Veterans, including education on mental health issues such as PTS.
“We’re dedicated to improving the physical and emotional health of US veterans,” said Roy Tuscany, executive director of the High Fives Foundation. “It’s been an extremely rewarding opportunity to bring all of these organizations together to honor these men and women who have been injured serving our country.”
“As warriors, we don’t need a hand out, we need a hand up,” said Jake Schick, a US Veteran Marine who helped pilot the program in 2014. “So if you give us an example of greatness to follow, we’re going to follow it.”
ABOUT THE ADAPTIVE TRAINING FOUNDATION:
Adaptive Training Foundation’s mission is to empower the human athlete, restore hope through movement, and redefine the limits of individuals with disabilities. For more information visit