Staff at the Aspen/Pitkin County Airport (ASE) are gearing up to greet and assist veterans participating in the 38th National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic (NDVWSC) in early April. The event, co-hosted by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and DAV (Disabled American Veterans), helps disabled veterans explore recovery through participation in skiing and other adaptive sports. This year the event will host approximately 400 disabled veterans.

The role of ASE is very important as the veterans’ experience at the airport is their first impression of Aspen. Airport staff strive to serve the veterans who served our country and ensure that their experience through the airport is seamless and stress-free. Teams of volunteers assist veterans off aircraft and through the terminal and help them transition to mobility devices, if needed. Volunteers greet the veterans in the baggage claim area with signs and refreshments before they board motor coaches to their hotels. The veterans’ checked baggage and specialized, adaptive ski equipment is shuttled directly to their hotels, through coordination with United Airlines.

The Clinic began in 1987 with 90 participants and has grown to assist nearly 10,000 profoundly disabled Veterans who live with traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, orthopedic amputations, visual impairments, certain neurological conditions, and other disabilities. Each veteran is encouraged to challenge their perceived limitations by participating in adaptive sports that improve their overall health and outlook on life. This year’s event will be held April 1 – 7. 


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