Cycling, veterans and PTSD

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Wednesday, November 11, 2009
By Yokota Fritz


Today is a national holiday to honor military veterans in the UK Commonwealth Nations, the United States, and some European nations.

The United States spends about as much on the military as the entire rest of the world combined and has been on a nearly constant state of war since the Korean War, so we naturally have many veterans to honor and care for in the 21st century.

About four years ago, counselor Gil Ramirez at the VA Healthcare System Menlo Park began leading group bike rides to help veterans recover from PTSD. I run into these men and women regularly in Menlo Park and it's always great to seem them out there. This recent Mercury News story describes the program.
Running, swimming, skiing and other endurance sports aren't new in the treatment of physically, emotionally or mentally wounded soldiers. But as a sustained therapy for PTSD, cycling appears to work wonders.

"Of all the sports we've tried,'' says recreational counselor Melissa Puckett, "cycling is the one that's been the most effective."
It looks like these guys decided to suit up in Road to Recovery jerseys for the media photo shoot. I think there's are a couple of different groups now, but when I see them here's how they usually roll.

Veteran cyclists


This group of vets was on Willow Road just a little south of the VA Center, and I think they looked fabulous. Allez!


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