UPDATED: Thursday, March 27, 2014 - 10:20pm
Waco, Texas — Hundreds of veterans are riding across Texas this week as a part of the 6th Annual Ride to Recovery Challenge.
This morning, the riders left Waco, headed for Arlington. But, before they left, Wacoans gave these brave men and women a warm welcome. 200 wounded veterans cycled into Waco as a part of a more than 500 mile therapy ride.
"Riders are referred to us from military facilities and VAs. The medical staff will send them to our program so that they can train up and get back on a bike and get into some exercise and do something that's very good for themselves," said Debora Spano, Media Relations for Ride to Recovery.
"It's definitely more effective than therapy being amongst comrades and riding through Texas. I mean, you get to build comradery. You get to meet a lot of people. And, you get to get back in shape, and it's just beautiful," said veteran Jonathan Dade.
Dade, a six year Navy soldier, says this is his first time participating in the texas ride to recovery. Dade says he became a wounded veteran following his tour in Asia during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
"I had a couple physical injuries. I had some broken bones. I hit my head, had an infection. But, actually the strongest injuries I sustained were emotional, really, just coming back to the transition getting used to the swing of things. It was just adjusting back to the civilian life," said Dade.
For Dade, the ride helps him better adjust to being out of the military. The biggest help, he says, is talking to other soldiers and finding out various ways to cope with his injuries.
"Different people have post-traumatic stress or other kinds of anxiety disorders. Just talking to them and figuring out what they do and how they cope with it is really what enables us to cope with it similarly."