MONARCH, Colo. — Veterans with the Wounded Warrior Project were hitting the slopes at Monarch Mountain for the annual Soldier Ride. Monarch gives the veterans gear, lessons and two awesome days enjoying the mountain.
“Something like this gets you out of the house to an experience you’ll never get. You find a confidence level that is instilled in you that kind of goes missing when you get wounded,” said Jeremy Wright, with the Wounded Warrior Project .
Jeremy Wright was in an accident that broke his neck and back while he was serving in the army. He says the road to recovery wasn’t easy but now he’s skiing for the second time in his life thanks to Monarch Mountain.
“They’re empowering and encouraging warriors to come out of the house, even though your wounded, you don’t have to sit inside anymore. You can get out there and try something different,” said Wright.
Wright is one of 18 veterans who joined in on the patriot snow ride on Wednesday. The group will have another day of lessons with Monarch on Thursday. The goal is to help veterans connect with each other, while helping them step outside their comfort zone and conquer new terrain.
“A lot of our veterans deal with not only the physical aspects of their injuries, but also the invisible wounds as well. To be able to communicate and connect with even their ski and snowboard instructors is huge for a lot of these guys,” said Erin Rose. Rose is the Wounded Warrior Project Recruiter Coordinator for the Soldier Ride West.
For some of these veterans, it’s the first time ever strapping on a pair of skis. That’s why Monarch Mountain wants to give back to those who deserve it most with two memorable days on the slopes that also bring them a sense of camaraderie with each other.
“It does feel a lot more comfortable because I know they’re one of us, they’re one of me. They have the same struggles. I can speak freely and say things that pain me,” said Wright.
“You can see the smiles and everyone really just enjoying their time out here. It’s nice to be a part of it and it’s nice to know that in some some small way we can do something to help people who have done a lot for us and for this country,” said Scott Coffman, the Monarch Mountains Group Coordinator.
Monarch Mountain has been hosting this 2-day event for the last 10 years. This year, they are hosting double the amount of Soldier Ride’s for vets with the Wounded Warrior Project.
2020 Soldier Ride dates at Monarch Mountain:
- January 29 and 30
- February 12 and 13
- March 18 and 19