“My life was spared for one reason; to help other Veterans, that is why I am here.”
2019 Participant Bio
Adam Greathouse is tired. He hurts, and would love to rest, but he can’t. There are other Veterans who need him. He is on a mission.
His journey begins as a young soldier eager to serve his country, but quickly becomes one of pain and darkness. Fortunately, that is not where Adam’s journey ends. Today he is a man on the slopes of Snowmass Colorado with complete clarity of purpose. “My life was spared for one reason: to help other Veterans, that is why I am here.”
Greathouse was deployed with the 3rd ID artillery out of Fort Stewart Georgia. Once on station, he was detached as a radio communications specialist to a team of Swedish and British forward observers heading to Kosovo, and eventually Albania and Serbia. From there things get a little foggy. Two months later, he woke up from a coma in a German hospital literally on his deathbed. He had lost more than 100 pounds and doctors couldn’t believe he was still alive. He was told he may have had some sort of chemical exposure from tanks he worked in and around. He had an enlarged heart, his organs had shut down and he was later diagnosed with acute respiratory distress syndrome. It took him months to recover and years to walk again. “I was in a bad place in my life. I didn’t want to go but the rec therapists talked me into it. But then I got to Aspen and something just happened. That cold dark spot went away.”
Today, Greathouse volunteers at his local VA. He is lifetime DAV member with over 3 thousand volunteer hours logged over the last two years. He shares his story with other Veterans whenever he can. He is also chairman of the Mental Health Counsel and works with Veterans and their families struggling with stigma and transition. He wants to make sure navigating the system is as easy as possible.
Finally, he is a huge advocate and mentor for the Rec Therapy Department. “The snowboard instructor told me “You are going to conquer this mountain” and I am thinking to myself I am just here for the week. But he instilled confidence in me. I hadn’t felt that in 11 years.”
Greathouse will conquer the mountain and then continue to work with other Veterans. His mission continues here in Aspen. He is the full time caregiver for another Veteran he met through the Huntington VAMC. The pair formed an instant bond and our roommates at the Winter Sports Clinic.
“There will be no one left behind as long as I am on duty.”