ONLY ON ABC7NEWS.COM: Disabled veterans enjoy healing trip to Tahoe snow

NORTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. (KGO) -- A winter camp for disabled military veterans, a chance to feel the wind in their face and to hopefully emerge from a very difficult chapter of their lives, is going on this week in North Lake Tahoe.

Ray Hernandez is a disabled army veteran, a paraplegic, but on Wednesday he was riding high in the high Sierra.

Hernandez is part of a larger group of veterans. Each has their own story, but for them this is a day to get outside, be active and maybe even try something new.

"I never was a skier before I got injured, but the VA helped me get here," Hernandez said. "It's fun. I like coming down the hill so fast, just having that wind in my face."

The vets will also ski and snowboard at Alpine and Squaw Valley, part of a winter camp run by Alpine-based Achieve Tahoe.

Injured in Afghanistan, Air Force veteran Terry Kirkbride skied before.

"Just trying to get back out and do things like I used to do," Kirkbride said. "One of the things that you'll find in this group of folks here is just trying to get back out, reintegrate, and be part of society again," Kirkbride said.

Army veteran Richard Porter brought along his wife Sara.

"He didn't talk about a lot of things, so I kind of felt excluded when he first got home. By doing this, I feel he's included me back into that part of his life," Sara Porter said.

"We have an itinerary and it challenges us to do things I wouldn't normally do in the snow," Richard Porter said,

And perhaps they can create a new beginning, a new path for the future.
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