For amputee veterans, skiing provides new life

Posted By: The Ski Channel on October 12, 2009 2:52 pm

All of us at The Ski Channel have an unending respect for our soldiers and what they do on a daily basis. What also necessitates a great amount of respect is how many of these soldiers continue living their lives once they return home. 

Imagine tragically losing a limb in battle. You return home without an arm or leg. Would you have the will and drive to keep a bright smile on your face and just be happy to be alive? It’s tough. It’s very inspirational to read about veterans like Specialist Rosetta Floyd, who lost her foot in 2004 in Baghdad. She really wanted to learn to ski before she died. When she returned home, before she adjusted to walking with a cane, she learned to ski. It reaffirmed that life will continue, and she can keep on living the life she’s always wanted to live. 

Sergeant Luis Rodriguez lost his leg in 2004, but that didn’t stop him from learning how to ski either. “You just have to keep going.  Otherwise you are going to be in your house, locked up in your house and you’d be missing life.  And for some of us that have been going through all this stuff in combat, man this is a second chance to live.”

Many veterans take a yearly ski trip to Aspen, Colorado with the Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic, founded by Sandy Trombetta. Here’s what Mr. Trombetta had this to say, “Life is about struggle and it’s about how we deal with the knocks that we take.  And skiing is a true metaphor for life.  Once they get here, and they fall, and get back up, and they get some of those sweet turns in, and they get sun tanned because it is beautiful out here.  They take those skills and they take that confidence that they learned here and they bring it home and they realize that, you know, I did this.  I did something that really was out of my realm of possibilities and now I realize I can really, you know, my reach can exceed my grasp.”

I think you just earned your lift ticket to heaven, Mr. Trombetta.