“I knew that there could be no higher calling then to serve my country” – Andrew Hartzell
Andrew Hartzell credits a bicycle with making it possible for him to walk again without needing a cane. That’s one reason he was eager to participate in the 2010 Sea to Shining Sea ride.
Andrew was attending graduate school in California in 2006, but felt that he wanted to do something “more noble” with his life. He chose to join the United States Army to serve his country. But, soon after joining, he was injured in a training accident that shattered his right femur.
Andrew spent nearly three years at Walter Reed Medical Center, undergoing surgeries and physical therapy to enable him to use his damaged leg. One of the therapies that has helped in his recovery has been cycling.
He didn’t know, at first, if he would be able to ride at all since standing for more than a few minutes was difficult for him and he needed the support of a cane to walk.
Cycling helped develop the muscles in his leg, allowing him greater mobility as well as greatly reducing the constant pain in his knee. He is committed to continuing to cycle for years to come because it enables him to walk with relatively little pain.
After Andrew finished the ride in late July, he approached another exciting life experience: he was married on August 21, 2010.