ASPEN — After Yinon Cohen lost his legs in an accident involving a rocket-propelled grenade, it wasn’t clear he’d ever be able to walk again, much less ski down a peak in the Rocky Mountains.
A fresh-faced soldier in the Israel Defense Forces’ elite Golani brigade, Cohen was in an advanced weapons training course in February, 2003 when his sergeant inadvertently fired an RPG, an explosive weapon capable of piercing armored vehicles, straight into his legs.
Just moments before, Cohen had been nodding off, and his exasperated sergeant ordered him to stand for the remainder of the class. That ended up saving Cohen’s life. Had he been seated, Cohen would have been struck in the torso and almost certainly killed.