WINDHAM, N.Y. – Soldiers and Marines fresh off the front lines in Iraq (search) are setting their sights on the slopes with a program designed to enhance their rehabilitation.
Just months ago, they fought in the fiercest battles in Iraq — losing limbs but not their lives. At first they were devastated but now they're determined.
"There's a point where you have to grieve for what you've lost for a little while but then you need to push that out of your head and start over, start over new and don't let anyone tell you can't do anything," said Spc. Kevin Pannell of the Arkansas National Guard (search). Pannell lost portions of both legs while he was on patrol with the Army's First Cavalry Division on Baghdad’s notorious Haifa Street.
Army First Lt. Ed Salau lost his left leg below the knee less than three months ago when insurgents fired an RPG at his Bradley armored vehicle while he was on patrol in Tikrit.
"If I can do this, I can do anything. It's just that simple," Salau said.
His gunner, Andrew Butterworth also lost a leg.
"He was with me in the Bradley when we were ambushed. We recovered together. We keep each other going in a positive direction. Everything's a contest," Salau said.
Today, they're pushing one another to succeed.
FOX News went along on their ski trip to Windham Mountain (search) in upstate New York.
"I just love the speed, the wind in my face. It's freedom and the leg isn't stopping me," Salau said.
Specialist Corey McGee was initially paralyzed after taking shrapnel in the neck during the first battle for Fallujah. Now he's skiing for the second time in two months after making a miraculous recovery.
"I was never supposed to walk again, ever," said McGee, part of the Army's 10th Mountain Division. "They're still amazed I'm doing what I'm doing. They say I can't believe what you're doing."
Because of better technology, improved body armor and helmets, U.S. forces are surviving attacks that would've killed them in previous wars. The injured have spent months in the hospital going through rehabilitation and skiing is one chance for them to help regain their independence.
"They have steel mental minds and they are very gung ho. If they can get through boot camp, they can definitely handle this," said Cherisse Young, who runs the Adaptive Sports Foundation.
"I always say it's easy to teach someone to ski but it's dealing with the other issues, it's mental — on one leg instead of two. It's okay that they fall, it's okay that they fail because they gotta fail to succeed," she said.
Click on the video box above for a complete report by FOX News' Heather Nauert.