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How can therapeutic recreation benefit me as a veteran who is an amputee?

If you are a veteran who has lost one or more limbs, the staff at a well-designed therapeutic recreation program can help you take your rehabilitation to the next level.

Sarah Williams Volf, Director of Challenge Aspen Military Opportunities (CAMO), offers an example:

“We had a gentleman here who lost both legs a couple of years ago. One amputation was above the knee and one was below the knee, so it was an awkward injury, and when he came out for our program he was struggling with his prosthetics to even walk on a flat surface. During our 10-day Grand Canyon Program, he wasn't doing repetitive therapy or thinking about somebody telling him ‘Hey you need to do this and hold on to these rails.’ And he actually managed to walk up a creek bed on stones where those who had both legs like myself had tripped -- he was so determined to get to the swim hole. What happened within a day there could have taken three months at the hospital.”

Therapeutic recreation can empower and inspire you, and can complement other types of therapy in your overall rehabilitation from amputation and other injuries. It can give you the self-confidence to envision a positive future and to tackle new goals.

Explains Volf, “We have had people who came out here without the desire to do anything but now are thinking about going to college or staying in active duty. We have had participants who had lost a number of limbs and thought ‘We can’t possibly have a child’ but have gone home thinking ‘We can do this.’ So it is about rebuilding families, not just the injured individuals.”

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.