This will be a magical ski weekend in beautiful Angel Fire, NM! — Sponsored by Not Forgotten Outreach of Taos, the National Veterans Wellness and Healing Center, and Angel Fire Resort.
Come visit with your fellow vets! Offer is good for all vets, active duty and retired, National Guard, and families.
A portion of the crowd at the Taos Ski Valley event last month!
The Good Deal includes:
- $25.00 Full Day Lift Ticket
- ½ Price Rental Ski/Board Equipment
- ½ Price Group Ski/Ride Lessons
- $83/night at the Lodge at Angel Fire Resort (844-218-4107)
- Free Adaptive Ski Lessons (2-weeks adv. reservation, angelfireresort.com/adaptive-lesson-request)
- Free Adaptive Ski Equipment (Courtesy of Adaptive Sports Program New Mexico)
- Free Dinner for 230 Military Family Members
- Live Music following Dinner
- Free Hot Drinks and Snacks at Base
- Non-Ski Events: Tubing, Sledding, Snowshoeing
Special Appearance by:
Dana Bowman, former US Army Golden Knight and Double Amputee
Dana will kick off Saturday morning with an American flag parachute entry! His website is at: http://www.danabowman.com/
Learn about the National Veterans Wellness and Healing Center, located in Angel Fire: http://veteranswellnessandhealing.org/
Don’t miss it! The Taos Ski Valley event hosted over 750 vets and family members from Florida to Washington State! See you there!
Posted in Family, Military
Tagged adaptive sports, Air Force Academy, Angel Fire, Angel Fire Resort, Brinn Colenda, disabled, disabled veterans, military, National Veterans Wellness and Healing Center, New Mexico, NM Vietnam Veterans Memorial State Park, PTS, PTSD, ski, snowboard, veteran, veterans, vets, Vietnam, Vietnam Memorial, winter sports
During the weekend of 24-25 January 2015, some 750 veterans, active duty and retired military, families and friends gathered at the Taos Ski Valley to feast, celebrate and recreate. Organized by disabled veteran Don Peters, founder of Not Forgotten, an organization dedicated motivate injured vets to participate in recreational activities to promote healing, and aided by the Taos Ski Valley (TSV), the Town of Taos, local VFW Post 3259, the Taos Milagro Rotary and others, the weekend was a smashing success. Here’s the full article and photos:
Vets and families arrived from as far away as Florida and Washington State to engage in winter sports and camaraderie with fellow vets. TSV provided discounted lift tickets, lessons and free equipment rentals. The Grand Junction (Colorado) VA provided special adaptive ski equipment for the disabled vets.
Don Peters, seated, in the foreground
The success of the Not Forgotten/TSV Veterans Appreciation Weekend program is spawning other similar initiatives. Neighboring Village of Angel Fire is hosting its own version of the Appreciation Weekend on February 20-21-22 in Angel Fire, partnering with the Angel Fire Resort and local businesses and organizations. All veterans, families, and friends will be welcomed. Here is the info for that weekend. Come on up/down/or over from wherever you are now and meet and play with fellow vets:
Posted in Family, Military
Tagged adaptive sports, Angel Fire, disabled, disabled veterans, military, NM Vietnam Veterans Memorial State Park, PTSD, ski, Taos, Taos ski resort, Taos Ski Valley, vets
Sergeant First Class Dana Bowman, U.S. Army (ret) stopped into Angel Fire this past week to ski with his family. While there’s nothing particularly unusual about a man taking his kids skiing during the holidays, Sgt Bowman has another story to tell. He is a double amputee. A former Special Forces soldier and member of the Golden Knights, the fabled Army parachute demonstration team, Sgt Bowman lost both his legs in a parachuting accident in 1994.
Here is a photo of LTC Chuck Howe and me showing Dana around the New Mexico Vietnam Veterans Memorial State Park, courtesy of the Sangre de Cristo Chronicle. Please note the UH-1 Huey lurking in the background!
Dana does not believe the simple loss of his legs should stop him from living his life. After his accident, he fought his way back into the Army, becoming the first double amputee able to re-enlist. After he retired, he attended college where he earned his bachelor’s degree and pilot’s license in fixed and rotary wing aircraft. Now he travels the country as a motivational speaker to spread his “incredible story of spirit and determination,” often parachuting into an event. He is quite a guy!
Enough from me, here’s Dana’s story and website. See for yourself: http://www.danabowman.com/
Dana believes, as I do, that we must band together to aid our wounded comrades. He was not in Angel Fire by accident. He was here to learn about the National Wellness and Healing Center and to visit the New Mexico Vietnam Veterans Memorial State Park (both of which I have written about on this blog site). He held discussions with LTC Chuck Howe, U.S. Army (ret), president of both the Wellness Center and the David Westphall Foundation which helps run the Vietnam Memorial about a possible parachute jump into Angel Fire to kick off a veteran’s PTS retreat or a Memorial Day ceremony at the Memorial. Stay tuned for more updates on this!
Here is the link to the National Veterans Wellness and Healing Center:
Posted in Military, Veteran Interest
Tagged Angel Fire, Dana Bowman, military, National Wellness and Healing Center, New Mexico Veterans Vietnam Memorial State Park, parachuting, PTS, PTSD, Sgt, U.S. Army
Why should you care? The National Veterans Wellness and Healing Center (NVW&HC) is a 501(c)3 non-profit is located in Angel Fire, New Mexico. The mission of the NVW&HC is to establish an environment that is responsive to the needs of veterans and military families using creative therapies and processes that focus on emotional and physical healing. What this means in practice is that veterans who have been diagnosed with PTS (Post Traumatic Stress) and spouses can attend retreats in Angel Fire, using the facilities of Angel Fire Resort and drawing on traditional and untraditional therapy methods. The couples are housed in the Resort hotel and all expenses of the retreats are covered by this funding, except for transportation to and from Angel Fire. Lisa Ling, a television journalist, did a documentary on one of the first retreats which was broadcast on the Oprah Channel. Here is a link for a five minute segment: http://www.oprah.com/own-our-america-lisa-ling/Invisible-Wounds-of-War-Breaking-Their-Silence In 2009, NVW&HC began retreats for veteran families who had been diagnosed with PTS (Post Traumatic Stress). Eleven veterans and spouses successfully completed the week-long retreat and have been celebrating their success since. We have continued to hold retreats every year since our inception and have a long list of satisfied couples.
Governor Susana Martinez put $350,000/year for four years for PTS counseling in her FY2015 budget, which was approved by the legislature. The program was competed and the MVW&HC was awarded the contract. This multi-year funding from the State of New Mexico will enhance our ability to continue these retreats. The plan now is to have a retreat in November 2014 and five more in the Spring 2015 ending before the end of the fiscal year on 30 June. We will then have three each half of the following fiscal years, covering approximately 350 couples over the next four years. This is New Mexico money for New Mexico veterans, but the NMW&HC will continue to raise money nationwide in order to include vets from other states. There is a waiting list for couples. Anyone interested in attending a retreat should contact LTC Chuck Howe, USA (ret), president of the NVW&HC, through its website at www.veteranswellnessandhealing.org More information about Angel Fire and the surrounding area can be accessed through the AF Village Visitor Center website at: http://www.angelfirefun.com/
The Angel Fire Resort website is: http://www.angelfireresort.com/ Here is a link to the nearby NM Vietnam Veterans Memorial State Park: https://www.vietnamveteransmemorial.org/special-features/14/RecommendedLinks/
Vietnam Veterans Memorial State Park
Located just north of the Village of Angel Fire, New Mexico, the Memorial was started by Dr Victor and Jeanne Westphall in honor of their son, Marine 1st Lt David Westphall who was killed in 1968. It was the first major Vietnam memorial in the country and helped inspire the Memorial in Washington. It became a New Mexico state park in 2005 and is the only state park dedicated exclusively to veterans of the Vietnam War. Congress officially recognized the facility as a memorial of national significance. It is an applicant for a national veterans cemetery.
The Memorial consists of a Chapel, a Visitor’s Center, extensive gardens and walking paths and a bookstore/gift shop. The Visitor Center features photographs and banners from some of the 210 units that served in Vietnam. The Center’s purpose is to educate Americans about Vietnam and to maintain a haven for healing and reconciliation for veterans of all wars. There is a media room and Veteran’s Room that honors military personnel killed, taken prisoner or missing in action. The POW/MIA flag waves outside the Center.
The Memorial is run and maintained by the State of New Mexico, aided by the David Westphall Veterans Foundation. The stated purpose of the Foundation is “to honor America’s veterans and members of its military forces by memorializing the sacrifices they have made and by recognizing the sense of duty and the courage they have displayed as they answered their country’s call to arms.”
The Memorial and its grounds are well maintained, with exhibits that can stir the soul. It is a Run For The Wall stop by vets on their way to the National Vietnam Memorial during the days leading up to the Memorial Day Weekend. We host special services and patriotic celebrations throughout the year. I’ve seen lots of strong men reduced to tears in the Center. A good place to find peace, to start or accelerate the healing process.
Sentinels– Always Serving