Giving back: R2R helps Soldiers recover
April 18, 2013
When a Soldier gets injured on the battlefield, sometimes it can leave scars that aren't always seen by the human eye. Often times, Soldiers tend to hide battlefield scars because they don't want their fellow Soldiers to think of them differently. Ride2Recovery helps to heal those scars.
Sgt. 1st Class Corey Edwards, a Soldier with Company B, 1st Battalion, Warrior Transition Brigade uses R2R as an outlet to heal some of his scars.
In June 2011, while attached to the 365th Combat Support Sustainment Battalion, Edwards's vehicle was hit by a improvised explosive device while on convoy in Shindand, Afghanistan. Edwards suffered from a torn meniscus in his knee and a broken hand.
"That incident changed my life forever," Edwards said. "It gave me a different perspective on my life and what I do as a Soldier."
After his initial treatment at Fort Hood's Warrior Transition Brigade for his physical injuries, Edwards learned that some of his injuries weren't just physical.
"I didn't realize the emotional toll that the IED blast had on me," Edwards said. "I developed anxiety, bad sleeping habits and combat stress."
Edwards said he was in denial about his emotions and the things he was feeling.
"I didn't want my chain of command to look at me differently," Edwards continued. "I was trying to show everybody that this incident didn't have a affect on me,"
Through the help of R2R, Edwards found a way to deal his with his emotions and a physical outlet to do something different.
"Ride2Recovery has helped me deal with my emotions and physical therapy," Edwards laughed. "I had a choice of physical therapy or R2R, and I choose the later."
John Wordin, founder of R2R, believes that R2R helps speed up the recovery and rehabilitation process with its organized group cycling.
"It helps our injured veterans, not only physically but mentally," Wordin said. "It gives them a chance to get back in the fight."
Sgt. Andrea Talley, a fellow R2R rider, with Company A, 1st Bn., WTB, helped train Edwards for the Texas challenge.
"We trained up for a month, three days a week, doing 25 miles each day," Talley said. "He brings a lot of spirit to our team; he's very motivated to push hard and not let any of us give up.
"This is his first Texas challenge, but you would think he's been doing this for years," Talley added.
Though the R2R can take its toll on the body, Edwards is the kind of guy who loves a challenge, and with this ride, he got that challenge.
"I wish I would have signed up years ago," Edwards said. "It's been a challenge mentally and physically so far, but it's worth it."
Edwards's intent is to show other Soldiers that no obstacle they face is too large for them.
"Regardless of what comes my way I'm not going to stop," Edwards said. "You have to keep moving forward.
"We have to keep pushing until we find our breaking point."