COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - The fourth annual Ride 2 Recovery kicked off at the Georgia State Capitol Sunday, March 1. The ride is to help bring hope to injured veterans.
Veterans from across the country say the ride to recovery provides a life changing experience through cycling, with 200 injured veterans and some active-duty members are getting ready for a challenge of their lifetime.
"I'm being medically retired for PTSD and traumatic brain injury," said Felipe Chuab.
"My left foot sits like that and I have a lot of nerve damage in my left leg," said Eric Murray.
"I was Medivac to Fort Benning after being injured in Afghanistan," said Orrick Curry.
Since 2011, the Ride 2 Recovery Gulf Coast Challenge uses cycling as therapy for injured servicemen and women, and veterans say they don't plan to let their disabilities stop them.
"When I first found out about ride to recovery, I was still in the depressed mood of me being hurt, so I was trying to figure out what I can do to possibly get out on my own and what better way than ride 600, 400, 300 miles with a bunch of other wounded veterans," said Eric Murray.
Veterans will help each other through a six-day, 478-miles cycling a 478 mile journey from Atlanta to New Orleans with stops in Columbus, Montgomery, Pensacola, Mobile and Gulfport. The challenge is presented by UnitedHealthCare.
"My personal reason for being here is to give back and I was one of the ones who wanted the opportunity to ride," Curry said.
Aiding in physical and mental rehabilitations, the challenge is also saves lives and brings hope.
"It's just a time to heal and participate in something that brings us together and its wonderful," Chuab said.
Veterans and supporters will continue their journey headed toward Montgomery on Monday, and leave from the Chattahoochee Riverwalk at 8:15 a.m.
The cyclists will finish on Friday, March 6 at The Doubletree Hotel in Kenner, LA, a suburb of New Orleans.
On March 7, veterans and United Healthcare employees will participate in a special Community Service Event at New Orleans City Park. Volunteers will work to restore the nationally-recognized park that suffered substantial damage 10 years ago during Hurricane Katrina.
Other highlights of the Challenge are lunch stops in Tuskegee, AL at the Tuskegee Airman Historical Site and in Mobile, AL at the USS Alabama Memorial.
Here are a list of dates and locations where the event will be happening:
Sun. 3/1 Atlanta to Columbus, GA
Columbus to Montgomery, AL
Montgomery to Pensacola, FL
Pensacola to Mobile, AL
Mobile to Gulfport, MS
Gulfport to New Orleans, LA
Community Service Event in New Orleans, LA
Visit http://www.ride2recovery.com/gulf-coast-challenge.html for additional details about the Challenge or Ride 2 Recovery.