Re­cov­ery Ef­fort

In­jured mil­i­tary veter­ans bike to 9/11 me­mo­rial

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Adam Farence afarence@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @afarence on Twit­ter

WEST GOSHEN >> In an ef­fort to pre­serve the mem­ory of the lives lost and sac­ri­fices made on Sept. 11, 2001, and to help one an­other re­cover from the phys­i­cal and men­tal in­juries suf­fered dur­ing their time in mil­i­tary ser­vice, ap­prox­i­mately 100 mil­i­tary veter­ans stopped by West Ch­ester on their 330-mile bike ride Tues­day.

The veter­ans, part of the Ride 2 Re­cov­ery pro­gram, be­gan their bike trip in Arlington, Vir­ginia, on Sun­day, the an­niver­sary of the ter­ror­ist at­tacks.

From there, the bik­ers have stopped at sev­eral lo­ca­tions on the way to their ul­ti­mate des­ti­na­tion, the 9/11 me­mo­rial in New York City. They plan to ar­rive Sept. 14.

The mis­sion Ride 2 Re­cov­ery is to help veter­ans and other first re­spon­ders sup­port one an­other through in­juries they have suf­fered.

“Ride 2 Re­cov­ery has helped me to en­joy the coun­try that I’ve fought for,” said Ricky Senella, an Iraq war veteran who joined the mil­i­tary be­cause of the Sept. 11 ter­ror at­tacks.

Senella was in­jured by an im­pro­vised ex­plo­sive de­vice in Iraq. He said the blast cov­ered him in

burns and killed his pla­toon leader.

Af­ter the at­tack, he said he was pre­scribed medicine for mi­graines and night­mares, and later turned to al­co­hol and co­caine.

Now, af­ter get­ting in­volved with Ride 2 Re­cov­ery, he said he’s clean and only tak­ing one med­i­ca­tion.

“Maybe one day I won’t need any meds, with the way it’s look­ing,” he said.

Senella, along with oth­ers, say be­ing able to bike ride with other in­jured veter­ans has helped with re­cov­ery, both men­tally and phys­i­cally.

“In­stead of pick­ing up bot­tles of pills, I pick up my bike now,” he said. “The only peo­ple who un­der­stand are these peo­ple.”

Other veter­ans shared sim­i­lar sto­ries about time served in the mil­i­tary and about Ride 2 Re­cov­ery help­ing them over­come emo­tional and phys­i­cal scars.

The veter­ans stopped at Schramm Inc., at 800 East Vir­ginia Ave., shortly be­fore 1 p.m. for lunch, split them­selves into two groups based on bik­ing speed, and left within 20 min­utes of each other.

Herrs, Cle­mens Food Group, Avondale Ma­chine Prod­ucts, Tran­sEdge Truck Cen­ters, and Bol­mar As­so­ciates all do­nated to Ride 2 Re­cov­ery’s cause, which is pri­mar­ily spon­sored by Unit­edHealth­care.

Ride 2 Re­cov­ery has two branches near Ch­ester County, one in Le­banon and Hor­sham. Veter­ans wish­ing to get in­volved with the Hor­sham branch can email Clau­dia Malone at Clau­dia. Malone@ang.af.mil, and Mike Fink at fink@lvc.edu for Le­banon’s branch.

ADAM FARENCE — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Ride 2 Re­cov­ery bik­ers left from Schramm shortly af­ter 2:30 p.m. Mon­day Be­fore leav­ing, they ate lunch do­nated by a num­ber of spon­sors.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO — JIMMY STIVERS

Ride 2 Re­cov­ery bik­ers draw sup­port from each other as they bike. The bik­ers are veter­ans and first re­spon­ders.

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