ALPINE MEADOWS, CA - Assimilating back into civilian life after a traumatic war injury is never easy, but a program happening this week is making life easier for wounded warriors. Alpine Meadows-based Disabled Sports USA Far West is teaching them how to ski and snowboard.
For Reno resident Robert Evans, there is no sport more therapeutic than snowboarding.
"A big reason that I really enjoy it that helps me so much is the ability to get outside and spend time with an instructor," said Evans.
Robert's not your average guy on the hill. When strapping on his board he does it with one hand because the other was blown off by an IED in 2005 in Iraq.
Robert's getting specialized instruction from Disabled Sports USA. This week they're hosting a special wounded warriors ski week.
"It's just another way to say thank you and we really appreciate everything that you have done and the fact that youre life will never be the same."
On the surface it is just a small way to give back, but this program has a lasting impression on vets, helping them improve other aspects of life.
"We find what people's abilities are and amplify the ability and wash away the disability. We stop looking at what somebody isn't able to do and we look at what they can do."
Robert is among the more able-bodied veterans in the program. He snowboards on his own upon occasion. He is pretty good, but he still comes back to this event because although it's all about disability, it's the only time he is not defined by his disability.
"So it is really nice to be able to walk in there and know you're not going to be judged for an injury or anything like that, and you have that common ground. It's nice," said Evans.
That comradery, even if it is just for a week, makes it all that much better.