Taos Ski Valley, NM – Running through Sunday, the 4th Annual Not Forgotten Outreach Week begins today at Taos Ski Valley in New Mexico. Active duty military members, Gold Star families, veterans and any family member with a military ID are invited to ski Taos for $30 per day, get free rentals and discounted group ski and snowboard lessons, along with other benefits and special events.
Taos Ski Valley was originally founded by World War II veteran Ernie Blake. This year, Taos Ski Valley (TSV) and Not Forgotten Outreach (NFO), based in Taos, expect to host over 3,000 military families, making the event the largest gathering of military families and a ski resort in the U.S.
The Blake family approved the start of the event, when Jonah Salloway, former event director at TSV came up with the idea in November 2013. Since billionaire conservationist Louis Bacon purchased TSV from the Blake family, the annual event has only grown in the number of participants and, most importantly, in support from TSV employees.
As part of the event, NFO has partnered with the Department of Veteran Affairs Care Management & Social Work Services to offer intimacy training to provide guidance to military couples in how to adjust their personal relationship aspirations when dealing with a wounded warrior who has suffered either physically or cognitive injuries, enabling them to learn a “new norm” of intimacy in their changed relationships. Classes will be held each morning at 10 a.m. and afternoons at 3 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
Connected Warriors Yoga will provide evidence-based Trauma-Conscious yoga therapy programs for service members, veterans and their families every morning of the event at 9 a.m. Defendu Academy of Taos will provide a self-defense class on Wednesday at 10 a.m., taught by former Special Forces soldier, Ryan Daley.
The VA Mobile Vet Center will be available Wednesday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to answer both active duty and veteran’s questions on benefits entitlements. On Friday, Melanie A. Suazo, SGM (Ret), Director of the New Mexico Women Veterans Program of the NM Department of Veterans’ Services, will be on hand at the event to reach out to women veterans in New Mexico.
On Thursday and Saturday nights, NFO and Taos Milagro Rotary Club will host a free “Appreciation Dinner” for 200 military families each night.
Lodging discounts to military families are being offered by 14 different hotels in the Taos area. For more information, visit notforgottenoutreach.org.