CALABASAS, Calif., Nov. 10, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- For Veterans Day, the GE Veterans Network (GEVN) and Ride 2 Recovery (R2R) will kick off a new program – "Share a VETie, Help a Veteran" – that is designed to generate awareness and support for America's healing heroes who have returned from military service with Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI), Post Traumatic Stress (PTS), depression and other wounds.
At Ride 2 Recovery's Honor Ride Las Vegas, participants will have the opportunity to "Share a VETie" on Facebook and Twitter (a selfie photo of themselves with a veteran) that includes a short message thanking veterans for their service. Posts should include the hashtag, #NoVetAlone, to raise awareness of a problem that affects one-in-five of the 1.64 million U.S. Troops who are returning home and need help to recover from the effects of TBI, PTS and other wounds. The organizations are also encouraging everyone to text NoVetAlone to 41444 and make a donation to Ride 2 Recovery. Donations will support a full range of cycling programs at Military and VA locations throughout the U.S., as well as local rides for healing heroes, all aimed at helping injured veterans overcome the obstacles they face as part of their rehabilitation.
"This is an exciting partnership that will combine the passion, commitment, and national reach of the GE Veterans Network with Ride 2 Recovery's broad range of cycling-based programs to help raise awareness and bring healing for service members and veterans facing various health issues," said Roy Gozum, Regional Executive of Commercial Operations at GE Aviation and one of the Network's national co-leaders. "One of the biggest challenges is that 57 percent of veterans who have reported health issues have not sought help or been evaluated. With this program, we are hoping more veterans will experience positive outcomes."
The VETie program is part of an expanded effort on the part of GE that will allow their employees in the United States the opportunity to positively engage with active duty service members and veterans in their local communities and across the nation. With more than 10,000 members and 100 units nationwide, the GE Veterans Network will support this partnership and its programs through volunteering, fundraising, and participation in Ride 2 Recovery's various cycling events and GE-specific events around the country.
"The GE Veterans Network's purpose is to Support, Hire and Grow veterans across GE. As such, we are committed to the ongoing support of those serving, and those who have served, our nation," added Gozum. "Ride 2 Recovery's goal of helping veterans enhance their abilities to lead healthier, more active lives is a perfect match for us; and we look forward to growing this partnership at a national level."
"We are so excited about this program with the GE Veterans Network because it has the potential to allow for real change in the quality of life for America's healing heroes," said John Wordin, CEO of Ride 2 Recovery. "Not only does it allow people to genuinely celebrate veterans and all they have done for our country, but also the financial contributions will allow us to expand our programs that improve the health and wellness of injured service members and veterans."
The various rehabilitation challenges sponsored by Ride 2 Recovery range from outdoor training at military installations to multiday, long-distance rides across the country that feature custom designed bicycles, trikes, and hand cycles for the participating veterans and healing heroes.
Since the program's inception in 2008, Ride 2 Recovery has been credited with helping more than 10,000 veterans. There are over 40 active Project Hero cycling rehabilitation programs throughout the U.S. Ride 2 Recovery has given away more than 1,890 bikes and more than 400 adaptive bikes have been built. Ride 2 Recovery has logged more than 13,000 miles in 26 states to raise money to help America's healing heroes. Throughout this time, 5 alumni were selected as members of the U.S. Paralympic Cycling Team and a number of veterans have participated in the Leadville 100 MTB ride, a grueling 100-mile mountain bike marathon through some of the toughest terrain in the Colorado Rockies. In 2012, an Iraq War veteran riding with the first Ride 2 Recovery Team became the first double-arm amputee to complete the Leadville 100 MTB. This year, 14 of the 16 Ride 2 Recovery participants finished the race in under 12 hours, earning a coveted Leadville 100 belt buckle.
SOURCE Ride 2 Recovery