Wounded veterans given VIP treatment at ski resort

CHAMPION, Pa. (WHTM) – A Midstate non-profit rolled out the “white carpet” for wounded veterans this week in Western Pennsylvania.

The Wounded Warrior Patrol‘s annual trip to Seven Springs Mountain Resort in Somerset County is all expense-paid for physically and mentally injured vets and their families.

Army veteran Dennis Leonard of Middletown lost his legs while serving in Iraq in 2007. He made the trip last year and returned this year as a mentor to others.

“The social networking for vets to find out about events like this isn’t there,” Leonard said. “So, the more people you can come in contact with and spread the word through them, the better. Get groups out there like this so everybody knows about them.”

Shane Betts of Mount Holly Springs, also an Army veteran, skied for the first time with his wife Ashley. Betts’s foot was shattered when he stepped on a landmine in Afghanistan in 2010.

“(Injured veterans) tend to keep to themselves and I’m the same way,” Betts said. “I definitely understand the anti-social thing. That’s why I work so hard though, to meet these guys. Couple of guys on this trip, I know other wounded warrior organizations and I’m trying to push them to go do other things, too.”

Wounded Warrior Patrol began in 2011. It’s 100 percent volunteer, with 100 percent of proceeds going to the cause.

For more information, tune into Good Day PA on March 5 and watch Carrie Perry’s full report.

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