Over 35 athletes from Jacksonville Florida rode for recovery with Deputy Under secretary of Defense for Wounded Warrior Care and Transition Policy, John R. Campbell. More than 40 Wounded Warriors participated in the Ride 2 Recovery
Florida Challenge, a cycling race to bring together recovering service members and local communities who support them.
The racecourse started at U.S. Central Command and U.S. Special Operations Command in Tampa, Florida and ended at Naval Station Mayport, Florida – a 350 mile Trek. Secretary Campbell joined the warriors for the final leg.
"I am here today to ride with our wounded warriors who have fought and sacrificed for all of us," said Campbell, enthusiastically before the ride.
"It is events like these that give our heroes the opportunity to reignite the camaraderie that bonds all who have served, and promotes healing during the rehabilitation process."
"Because the Ride 2 Recovery takes place outside, in cities and towns throughout the United States, it provides a unique opportunity for entire communities to engage and meet those who have sacrificed for our freedoms."
Mr. Campbell assumed the position of Deputy Under Secretary for Wounded Warrior Care and Transition Policy
six months ago, and was honored by the invitation to take part in this ride. He stated that he and the rest of the team are doing everything possible to ensure recovering and transitioning service members return home or integrate back to into service successfully.
Recreation and Sports activities, such as Ride 2 Recovery play an integral role in the rehabilitation and wellness of recovering service members. A similar event, the Wounded Warrior Ride, was hosted by Vice President Biden and Dr. Jill Biden from the front steps the White House in April of this year.
The event was hosted by Secretary of Defense, Robert M. Gates, Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric K. Shinseki, and was led by our own Army Wounded Warrior Regiment Commander, COL Greg Gadson
. Interested Wounded Warriors and their families can visit the National Resource Directory for a listing of Recreation and Sports Activities.
Nathan DeWalt, a former Navy Seal, and paraplegic stated that he was participating in the Ride 2 Recovery “…to be an inspiration to others. I want them to see that you can get back to life and enjoy it, and don't let your injuries hold you back from things you enjoyed before."
Ride 2 Recovery is produced by the Fitness Challenge Foundation in partnership with the military and the Veteran's Administration's Volunteer Services Office.