FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Retired Army Golden Knight, Double Amputee Dana Bowman Returns to Angel Fire
Skydives into Military Winterfest February 24
ANGEL FIRE, N.M. (January 3, 2018) – “Breathtaking,” “inspirational” and “goose bumpy” are words spectators used to describe how Dana Bowman jumped, quite literally into the hearts of Angel Fire’s residents and visitors during its Military Appreciation Weekend last February. But jumping out of a perfectly good aircraft and parachuting over thousands of spectators is SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) for Bowman, a former member of the Army’s elite parachute team, the Golden Knights and double amputee.
Bowman returns to Angel Fire for the 4th Annual Military Winterfest to dazzle audiences with his signature American Flag Fly In Saturday, Feb. 24 at 10:15 a.m. Parachuting onto the base of Angel Fire Resort’s ski mountain with his two special prosthetic limbs, he will “land on a dime”—again. Bowman, who performs this feat more than 100 times each year, is determined to continue proving his long-held motto – “It’s not the disability; it’s the ability™.”
Bowman lost both legs in a parachuting accident in 1994 when he and his partner traveling at a combined speed of 300 mph collided in midair. Bowman’s legs were severed instantly. The impact killed his best friend and skydiving partner, Sgt. Jose Aguillon. “My life changed in one split second,” Bowman said. “But I’m here to say you can still make a difference. Our society today needs positive role models. I challenge all of you to learn and give back something.”
Brandishing a 2,000 sq. ft. American flag, Bowman said he was proud to be the first to jump onto Angel Fire’s slopes. “It’s cold, breezy and the altitude makes it challenging,” he said. “But it was nothing compared to the sacrifice that our veterans do for us each and every day.”
The retired Golden Knight has been the subject of hundreds of national and international news stories, including: Sports Illustrated, People Magazine, Discovery Channel, History Channel and Dateline NBC. Bowman retired from the Army after 20 years of service, performing his final jump as a Golden Knight into the opening ceremonies of the Paralympic Games in Atlanta in 1996. His many awards and honors include a bronze star for valor in 1989 during the conflict in Panama as well as Outstanding Disabled Veteran of the Year in 1995. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in commercial aviation at the University of North Dakota in 2000 and resolved to spend the rest of his life serving his fellow disabled veterans – on the ground and in the air.
“I don’t have any legs, but I can fly multi-million dollar helicopters,” said Bowman, who remains the only double amputee instructor pilot in the world. “I can do anything I want to do, and I want to encourage veterans, kids and anybody to imagine what they can do.”
Through his motivational speeches, inspirational jumps and spirit of giving back, Bowman shows that even in the face of adversity, people with disabilities are anything but useless. “There are a lot of veterans who have overcome tragedies whether in the line of duty or not, whether they’re blind, quadriplegic, paraplegic or have another disability,” he said. Military members and their families participating in Winterfest will have a chance to meet with Bowman on numerous occasions.
Bowman says he’s looking forward to coming back to Angel Fire. “I enjoyed the people of Angel Fire, enjoyed the hospitality and friendliness of this unique mountainside village,” he said. “Angel Fire is generous at giving back to the community of warriors.”
While Bowman is the main attraction at Military Winterfest, held Feb. 22 – 26, the 5-day festival features skiing, snowboarding and tubing at deeply discounted rates. As well, snowshoeing, an Inter-Service Fun Race, snowboard demos by Never Summer, daily Twilight Colors Parade, a Military Family Expo, a celebratory dinner; and more for veterans, active duty military and their families.
Last year, the event welcomed more than 600 active duty, retirees and families from Texas, Colorado and beyond to its winter celebration. This year, organizers anticipate increasing participation.
REACHING OUT TO ALL VETS AND TO THOSE WITH DISABILITIES
As with every year, Military Winterfest offers its unique “Vet2Vet” program that gives ski and snowboard lessons for vets, by professionally trained ski and snowboard instructors who are also vets. As well, the festival has an Adaptive Sports Programs for vets with disabilities.
REGISTER TO GO!
Early Online registration at mwf2018.eventbrite.com includes: Admission to all Winterfest activities; exclusive military discounts (lodging, lift tickets, equipment rentals, lessons and much more); and a free long-sleeved t-shirt. Additionally, many Angel Fire restaurants, shops and lodging venues are offering special discounts to Winterfest attendees wearing the unique event bracelet.
Advanced Online Registration by January 15 (includes a free long-sleeved t-shirt):
- Veterans certified 100% disabled and up to 5 family members — FREE
- Individual (Veteran/Military Member) — $25
- Family (Veteran/Military Member and up to 5 family members) — $40
Online Registration after January 15 or during the festival at the Winterfest Registration Desk (free T-shirt no longer included, but available for purchase online or at the Registration Desk):
- Veterans certified 100% disabled and up to 5 family members – FREE
- Individual (Veteran/Military Member) — $30
- Family (Veteran/Military Member and up to 5 family members) — $50
A Celebratory Dinner, Sat. Feb. 24, may be added on with Advanced Online purchase: $10/adult, FREE for kids under 6, and FREE for veterans certified 100% disabled (not including family members).
Angel Fire Resort Lodging, Lessons: http://bit.ly/Winterfest_2018 or call Central Reservations (575) 377-4320. For other Village lodging options check MilitaryWinterfest.com for details.
Festival details see MilitaryWinterfest.com, Facebook.com/MilitaryWinterfest, Pinterest or follow Twitter @AFWinterfest.
Active Duty, National Guard, Reserve, veterans, retirees, dependent family members and Gold Star families are eligible to participate but must have a valid identification card or other proof of service.
Winterfest helps raise funds and awareness for the National Veterans Wellness & Healing Center of Angel Fire. The Center is nationally known for using creative therapies in its weeklong Retreat Programs to help veterans with Post Traumatic Stress.
Military Winterfest 2018 partners: Angel Fire Resort, a 5-Star corporate sponsor; NEVER SUMMER INDUSTRIES, Official Snowboard Sponsor; and funded in part by the Village of Angel Fire lodgers tax.
The registration fees paid when attending Military Winterfest 2018 are tax-deductible & directly support the National Veterans Wellness & Healing Center. The Center provides treatment for military individuals & families that suffer with Post Traumatic Stress. Its creative therapies have been nationally recognized for their effectiveness in treating the “Invisible Wounds of War.” The Veteran couples experience Native American hand washing ceremony, storytelling of the warrior culture & many more therapeutic techniques. These retreats are only possible with the help from donors & grant funding. For more, see National Veterans Wellness & Healing Center Angel Fire.
MEDIA ADVISORY: Let me know if you’d like Bowman’s bio and/or photos or the full festival schedule.