View Full Version : Disabled Marines on ‘Nightline’

01-31-07, 10:09 AM
Disabled Marines on ‘Nightline’

By Kimberly Johnson - Staff writer
Posted : Wednesday Jan 31, 2007 6:13:47 EST

Marines wounded in Iraq — some paralyzed or with amputated limbs — will be featured on ABC’s “Nightline” on Wednesday as they enjoy extreme winter sports in Sun Valley, Idaho.

The segment will highlight the Sun Valley Adaptive Sports (SVAS) snow sport camp geared to severely injured service members.

Former and active-duty leathernecks featured in the program include Marines from the Boise-based Reserve unit Charlie Company, 4th Tank Battalion, who received injuries during Operation Matador in May 2005. Those Marines include Lance Cpl. Joe Lowe, a paraplegic who skied on a mono-ski; Lance Cpl. Mitchell Elhke, a below-the-knee amputee who tried snowboarding for the first time; and Sgt. Joe Danes, a two-time survivor of being run over by a Humvee, who also tried snowboarding.

“I’ll admit, I was a bit reluctant to come on this trip, but I’m sure glad I did because SVAS made this an experience I’ll never forget,” Elhke said in a statement.

The experience of trying winter sports goes beyond the slope, according to one battalion official. “It lets them know they can get out there and do things that are high-adventure and not be bound to a wheelchair,” 1st Sgt. William Heyob said.

The camp ran Jan 11-15 and was paid for by SVAS. The organization intends to host up to three wilderness and rafting camps this summer and another three sport camps next winter, it said in a statement.

“We want to provide these young men and women a sense of purpose and passion in life,” said Tom Iselin, SVAS executive director. “Sports and recreation can provide a lot more than just short-term therapeutic rehabilitation. It can be the cornerstone on which a service member can rebuild a life.