Disabled Sports Eastern Sierra (DSES) is a 501(c)3 non-profit that’s been in operation since 2003 in Mammoth Lakes, California. DSES provides adaptive sports instruction and therapeutic outdoor recreation for people of any age and any disability. DSES offers state-of-the-art adaptive equipment and specialized teaching methodologies to empower people with special needs to learn and achieve their outdoor recreation goals. Whether a student wants to pursue competition in a given sport or simply feel the sensation of sliding down a snow-covered slope, DSES provides customized, one-on-one lessons for each athlete. We currently host numerous nationally-recognized events for veterans and military athletes each year. The positive impact of these programs, as seen through countless success stories, is the motivation and inspiration behind the National Wounded Warrior Center.
The NWWC facility will be affiliated with the fully accessible Cerro Coso Community College in Mammoth Lakes, making it easy for veterans with disabilities to obtain degrees, certificates, and internships in order to learn marketable skills and succeed in the job market. DSES is creating the NWWC to enhance their adaptive sports programs at Mammoth Mountain Ski Area and throughout the healing mountains of the Eastern Sierra. The NWWC will leverage the self-confidence, independence developed during DSES life-changing recreational therapy and adaptive sports programs by opening doors to career opportunities for veterans with disabilities.
All donations to the NWWC capital campaign will cover design, permits, and building or remodeling a facility.
All donations to the NWWC are held in designated, secure accounts. We actively work with our financial advisors to maximize your investment.
Contingent on funding, we projected being construction-ready by the end of 2020. Since then, the loss of the original two-acre site for the National Wounded Warrior Center building was an unexpected and monumental alteration to the initiative, but we have taken measures to reassess. We are making good progress on many fronts:
- A small group of DSES board members along with Founding Director Kathy Copeland and Executive Director Laura Beardsley are exploring potential new sites for the NWWC. We have looked into several properties on the real estate market and continue to refine our plans so that we’ll be able to actually begin our much-needed programs for veterans with disabilities and wounded warriors as soon as possible. We plan to begin operating the Center with an eye towards expansion so we can accommodate more veterans as time moves ahead.
- Pilot programs for future programs at the National Wounded Warrior Center are planned for 2021, integrating challenging adaptive recreation with daily health and wellness programs and ongoing mentorship.
We project up to 200 Wounded Warriors will rotate through the facility each year staying a wide variety of time frames. The NWWC will accommodate families, couples, care-providers, and individuals.
DSES is not currently affiliated with the Wounded Warrior Project. We use wounded warriors as a generic term meaning all wounded, ill or injured servicemen or women. Unlike many organizations, the program at the NWWC is an all-inclusive program that accommodates active duty and veteran wounded warriors …any age, from any branch of service, with any illness or injury, combat-related or not. Caretakers and family members are also eligible to stay at the NWWC.
DSES offers Paralympic sports and daily lessons for injured, ill, and wounded service members and veterans. DSES also offers two annual camps specifically for military athletes: Operation Mountain Freedom in the winter and Operation High Altitude in the summer. Both of these adaptive sport camps are for active duty and veteran athletes with disabilities. You can learn more about all of these programs at Disabled Sports Eastern Sierra. Our programs are open to all wounded warriors of all ages – that includes World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and beyond. We welcome all veterans with disabilities, whether or not it was a war injury. Visit the Programs page on the Disabled Sports Eastern Sierra website or call 760.934.0791 for more information.