Wounded Veterans Cycle Along Coast for Ride to Recovery
Army veteran, Michael Lage, became wounded in Iraq in 2007 from an I.E.D., and now he’s cycling along the Coast with other wounded warriors. Lage says, "Cycling is a huge community, so it just helps me rehabilitate and get back with other soldiers that were injured like myself."
Another Army veteran, Lori Kelley, says after her years of battling P.T.S.D., the Ride to Recovery gives her a sense of purpose. Kelley says, "I find balance on the bike. It’s a form of meditation for me and for the first time in a long time, I feel like I’ve found some purpose and as I’ve gotten better, I’ve been able to assist my fellow veterans on the bikes."
Lage and Kelley, along with over 160 other veterans, have traveled all the way from Atlanta, stopping in Gulfport to visit the Armed Forces Retirement Home. Lage also says, "I mean, you got people from different walks of life with different types of injuries and we all come together for one purpose, and that’s to share our story with the world and to ride whatever route that’s in front of us and just inspire other people."
Ride to Recovery was founded in 2008. A group that organizes rides around the country for vets and active military that are in the process of healing. Joe Coddington, Event Operations Coordinator for Ride to Recovery, says, "One of the unique things that cycling does is it provides this camaraderie, brotherhood, and family sense, and they are able to ride together for four hours. We were on the bike for four hours today, and it gives them the chance to talk with people of kindred spirits and similar situations." The cyclists will be ending their ride in New Orleans, and with triumphant endings, come hopeful beginnings.
Kelley closes, "For me, it means the future, one in which I can actually look into the future and see something positive"