Vail Veterans Program

A nonprofit organization

Since 2004, Vail Veterans Program has been transforming the lives of military injured and their families by providing innovative, outdoor therapeutic and rehabilitative programs that encourage healthy recovery, personal growth, and the building of lifelong communities of mutual support


"As a recently injured active-duty service member, my new normal has been filled with medical appointments and service requirements. My recent experience with the Vail Veterans Program truly brought me a sense of peace and healing I didn't know I was missing. I had the opportunity to disconnect and spend time in beautiful mountain terrain all week long. Vail Veterans Program provided a sense of peace and strength that I have not felt in a very long time, and for that, my family and I are incredibly grateful. Ultimately, Vail Veterans Program reminded me that there is a future and hope beyond my current reality, and a willing community to help me get there." 
- U.S. Navy Hospitalman, Casey Nutt, VVP Alumni

"This has been an incredible trip and so affirming, especially because of all the wonderful people who went out of their way to make it special. As patients at the Center for the Intrepid, some of us have visible injuries and others have some which are not visible, but we all came here in various stages of trying to recover and heal. We cannot do so on our own, and with the help of our healthcare teams, families, friends, colleagues, and now the Vail Veterans Program, you have helped us in our journey. You have helped to give us hope back when some of us thought we had lost it. We appreciate all the members of the Vail Veterans Program in opening your arms and hearts to us and bringing us into your community. We are forever changed and grateful to know that we can do things that we never thought would be possible after what we have been through, and I know that the memory of our experiences this week will help carry us forward as we work to rebuild our lives. I am extremely grateful. Thank you."  - U.S. Army, Colonel Mary Garr (RET), VVP Alumni

"After I understood the extent of my injuries, I realized that I might not make it out of this alive, and I wasn't certain if it would be a life worth living, with a body worth living in. There was so much that I still wanted to do and so many people to live for. I decided to try what others referred to as 'adaptive sports' such as volleyball and horseback riding which proved unfulfilling. When I came to Vail Veterans Program, I tried mono skiing and for the first time since being injured, I felt an adrenal rush and felt alive. Thank God I did. I found a family of people and friends that I still network with. This is a special community and the entire town takes part in this. I cannot thank you enough for what you have done for my family and I." - Retired US Army Captain, Greg Galeazzi, VVP Alumni

"The Vail Veterans Program OUR MISSION CONTINUES grant has definitely impacted mine and my family's life in many ways and we will be forever grateful. We felt in a time like this we weren't alone. VVP has surprised us with such generosity, and I am grateful to be part of such a wonderful program that always brings me and all the service members happiness, not just in a time of need, but throughout the years. VVP continues to do great things for its military personnel. I am happy to be able to call y'all family. Thank you. I hope to see everyone soon. Stay safe." - Gilbert Builtron, U.S. Navy Petty Officer Third Class (Ret), VVP Alumni and OUR MISSION CONTINUES Grant Recipient

"Our journey started three years ago when our life took a 180-degree turn. We went from being newly retired to being full-time Caregivers for our son, Brendan, an F-18 Fighter Pilot. During Brendan's assignment in Honolulu, we received a call that there had been an incident and he had developed an unknown brain disease. To continue extensive neurological testing we became patients at Walter Reed, living on campus for nearly a year, and attending 7 to 8 appointments a day. When we were invited to the Vail Veterans Program, Brendan's condition had become more severe, and he wasn't walking. I had never seen an adaptive program in full force but Brendan spent the week skiing and he got it! We made connections with other Veterans and Caregivers and were treated with such kindness. We created a network of support and still keep in contact with other military families. It is phenomenal to see how the Vail Veterans Program extends out. To come to an organization like Vail Veterans Program to heal, we truly cannot thank you enough." - Sue & Larry Pederson, Caregivers to Retired Lieutenant Commander, Brendan Pederson, and VVP Alumni

"The Vail Veterans Program helped my family to grow closer together. It helped me to jump out of my comfort zone through socializing with others and connecting with a new group. I'm still on active duty...


To provide military injured and their families with innovative and transformational programs that build confidence and improve lives.

Background Statement

In 2003, with the number of severe military service injuries increasing dramatically, Vail Veterans Program (VVP) Founder and President, Cheryl Jensen, felt compelled to help. A former adaptive ski instructor, Jensen understood the powerful impact adaptive skiing has on people faced with physical or mental disabilities and challenges. She recognized the healing benefits of the Colorado Rocky Mountains and wanted to give these recently wounded Veterans the opportunity to experience this uniquely empowering environment. Jensen reached out to then Army Captain, David Rozelle, who had lost his leg below the knee while serving in Iraq in March 2003. Together, Jensen and Rozelle were able to secure necessary funds to offset the costs associated with hosting military hospital patients in Vail, CO, including transportation, lodging, food & beverage, specialized adaptive equipment and adaptive ski instruction. In 2004, with seven patients from Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Bethesda, MD, the first VVP took place at Vail Mountain.

VVP has since continued its partnership with Walter Reed Army Medical Center, as well as developed longstanding partnerships with Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, TX and the Naval Medical Center in San Diego, CA. VVP continues to serve a national population of military injured, both active duty and retired. VVP programs are provided at no cost to wounded Veterans, their family members, or medical support staff from partner military hospitals.

VVP is known as a "gold standard" for recreational therapy by its partner military hospitals. The Secretary of Defense and the US Army recognized VVP for showing an outstanding contribution to soldiers and their families. VVP Founder, Cheryl Jensen, received the Secretary of Defense Medal of Outstanding Service, as well as the Outstanding Civilian Service Award by Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, 38th Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army, for her exceptional service in support of the United States Army through VVP.

Organization Data


Organization name

Vail Veterans Program

other names

Vail Veterans Program, VVP

Year Established


Tax id (EIN)



Military & Veterans Organizations


1000 Lions Ridge Loop Suite 3B
Vail, CO 81657


PO Box 6473
Vail, CO 81658

Service areas

Eagle County, CO, US



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