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August 4, 2009
The Vail Veterans Program summer retreat
The Vail Veterans Program summer retreat is a program designed to help recently severely wounded U.S. military forces rehabilitate and rebuild confidence through outdoor activities, including rafting, fly fishing, skeet shooting and horseback riding. Most of the wounded are flown in from Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. Some 250 wounded troops have participated, both in the summer and winter programs since 2004. The visits to the Rocky Mountain retreat have been incorporated into Walter Reed's rehabilitation program for troops who have suffered from traumatic injuries, including amputations, brain injuries and other severe wounds, most of which sustained in combat in Afghanistan and Iraq. (17 images)

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Army Ssgt. Freddy De los Santos, 39, left, and Marine Lcpl. Jose Daniel Gasca, 22, both amputees from war injuries, speak on July 30, at Yarmony Lodge, near McCoy, Colorado. They were part of a group of a dozen war wounded and their families participating in the Vail Veterans Program summer retreat. De los Santos, a Special Operations soldier, was wounded when his humvee was struck by a rocket propelled grenade in Afghanistan Oct. 19, 2008, killing the other two American soldiers in his vehicle. Gasca was wounded when his vehicle hit an IED in Fallujah, Iraq Sept. 6, 2008. Getty Images / John Moore


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A wounded U.S. serviceman awakes early on July 31, at the Yarmony Lodge near McCoy, Colorado. A group of a dozen war wounded and their families participated in the Vail Veterans Program summer retreat.Getty Images / John Moore



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U.S. war wounded float down the Colorado River with a fishing guide on July 30, near McCoy, Colorado. Getty Images / John Moore



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Fly fishing guide Matt Debus shows wounded soldiers and their families how to float in case their boat capsizes during a fly fishing trip on the Colorado River July 30, near McCoy, Colorado. Getty Images / John Moore



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U.S. Marine Capt. Ryan Voltin paddles while rafting on the Colorado River on July 31, near No Name, Colorado. As a Cobra pilot Voltin was seriously burned and lost a leg May 25, 2007 when his helicopter gunship was bombed in a friendly fire incident in Jordan. Getty Images / John Moore



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U.S. Army Spc. Keith Maul, 21, shoots skeet on July 30, at the Yarmony Lodge near McCoy, Colorado. Maul who lost an arm and a leg in a grenade attack while on patrol Feb. 6, near Baghdad, was part of a group of a dozen war wounded and their families participating in the Vail Veterans Program summer retreat. Getty Images / John Moore



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Hat maker Josh Alis crafts custom cowboy hats for wounded U.S. servicemen and their families on July 30, at the Yarmony Lodge near McCoy, Colorado. Getty Images / John Moore



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U.S. Army Spc. Keith Maul, 21, and his wife Megan watch as cowboys hold a mini rodeo on July 31, at the Yarmony Lodge near McCoy, Colorado. Maul, who lost an arm and a leg in a grenade attack while on patrol Feb. 6, near Baghdad, was part of a group of a dozen war wounded and their families participating in the Vail Veterans Program summer retreat. Getty Images / John Moore



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Wounded U.S. servicemen, including Army Spc. Keith Maul, 21, (3rdR), and his wife Megan watch as ranch hands hold a mini rodeo on July 31, at the Yarmony Lodge near McCoy, Colorado. Getty Images / John Moore



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Massage therapist Mary Ann Lunger works on a wounded U.S. serviceman on July 31, at the Yarmony Lodge near McCoy, Colorado. Getty Images / John Moore



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An injured U.S. serviceman gazes upon a rainbow following an afternoon thunderstorm on July 31, at the Yarmony Lodge near McCoy, Colorado. Getty Images / John Moore



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U.S. Army Spc. Keith Maul, 21, right, drinks a beer with a fellow wounded soldier on July 30, at the Yarmony Lodge near McCoy, Colorado. Getty Images / John Moore



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U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Gabriel Garcia, 26, answers questions about his war wounds from children on July 30, at the Yarmony Lodge near McCoy, Colorado. Garcia lost his arm in a Taliban suicide attack that killed two other soldiers January 8 in Helmand, Afghanistan. Getty Images / John Moore



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U.S. Army Spc. Keith Maul, left, 21, cuts a steak with his prosthetic hand while dining with his wife Megan Maul and fellow war wounded August 1, in Vail, Colorado. Getty Images / John Moore



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Wounded U.S. serviceman Kade Hinkhouse embraces event organizer Cheryl Jensen on July 31, at the Yarmony Lodge near McCoy, Colorado. Hinkhouse suffered a traumatic brain injury and severe leg injuries from an IED attack in Ramadi Oct. 8, 2005. Getty Images / John Moore



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The sky lights up at sunset over a campsite for wounded U.S. servicemen on July 31, at the Yarmony Lodge near McCoy, Colorado. Getty Images / John Moore



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Wounded U.S. Army soldiers, Marines and their families gather around a camp fire on July 30, at the Yarmony Lodge near McCoy, Colorado. Getty Images / John Moore



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