Somewhere in Afghanistan a couple of years ago, a young American on patrol with a platoon of other U.S. Army troops was looking forward to the end of his tour of duty. Back home, a young wife and the most beautiful little girl in the world waited for him.
He woke up in a field hospital, still groggy from the drugs his buddies had injected him with to dull the pain. He remembered only a flash and a massive shock in his lower body.
Hours later, doctors told him one leg was gone and the other was hopelessly mangled. In the months that followed, he learned to use a prosthetic leg.
His life is changed forever - because he chose to serve his fellow Americans in the military.
Some of them realize they owe him and other wounded warriors more than a salute on Veterans Day. They also owe him some time in the great outdoors, a few chances to demonstrate that he still has the right stuff - and some fun.
More than a dozen military families enjoyed some of that last week in a special program at Seven Springs Mountain Resort in Pennsylvania. They were special guests of the resort, in the third year of an ongoing program to give something back to veterans who have paid terrible prices for serving us - and to say thank-you to their families.
As we reported, Seven Springs joined with the Wounded Warrior Patrol and Three Rivers Adaptive Sports to give the families a few days of rest and relaxation in a beautiful atmosphere - and, using special equipment, to get some of the vets involved in winter sports such as skiing.
Our reporter witnessed heart-warming scenes during his time there. "It gives you a little bit of your life back," one veteran told him.
There ought to be more programs like that.
Lots of ideas come to mind. What outdoor activity that many of us enjoy can not be offered to the wounded warriors, with a little creativity and perhaps, some special equipment? What resort can not find a way to host some of them and their families for a few days?
More of what happened at Seven Springs needs to occur all over the country.
If you're interested and need a bit of "technical advice," I'm certain the folks at Seven Springs, the Wounded Warrior Patrol and Three Rivers Adaptive Sports can help.
Let's do this.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Mike Myer is executive editor of The Intelligencer and the Wheeling News-Register. He can be reached via email at email@example.com