BY RICHARD RHINEHART
Arlington, Virginia, October 11, 2011 – For members of our nation’s veterans rehabilitating in federal hospitals, time moves very slowly. In between rehabilitation activities, meals and conversations with the medical staff, there’s not much to engage a soldier’s mind while the body recovers.
World T.E.A.M. Sports, the Arlington, Virginia-based national non-profit that manages inclusive sporting events for disabled and able-bodied participants, has created a new event that addresses the need for our nation’s wounded warriors to recover in mind as well as body.
The inaugural Family Day Out on November 3, 2011 will invite ten wounded warriors and their families for an afternoon of bicycle riding in and around the heart of Washington, D.C. This leisurely afternoon will provide these honored veterans time away from their hospitals with their families, enjoying the fabled monuments and attractions that uniquely define our nation’s capitol. Veterans and their families will participate in this enjoyable afternoon at no cost, thanks to the support of World T.E.A.M. Sports and partners CAUSE and Revolution Cycles.
Recognizing that visits by family members to veterans recovering in hospitals usually result in time spent watching television or quiet conversations in lounges and cafeterias, World T.E.A.M. Sports senior staff Paul Bremer and Van Brinson agreed that an active day of recreation away from the hospital can be helpful in creating positive experiences for both veterans and their families.
“We are very excited about the event and working with CAUSE,” said Brinson, a Marines Corp veteran.
Through the Family Day Out organized recreational bike ride, families and veterans can exercise together and have an opportunity to see some of the great monuments to America’s history. Riders will visit treasured memorials such as the Jefferson, Lincoln, Washington and World War II memorials, and ride past the White House and the U.S. Capitol. Following the ride’s conclusion, veterans and their families will enjoy dinner at the Spanish-themed Jaleo restaurant in Crystal City.
Washington’s Revolution Cycles, the official bike shop for several Washington law enforcement agencies, will provide bicycles, hand cycles and recumbent cycles for use by the participants. The non-profit CAUSE is helping recruit participants for the afternoon ride, which will be led by a knowledgeable Washington guide.
For more than 20 years, World T.E.A.M. Sports has used athletics to challenge disabled and non-disabled men, women and children to accomplish goals they never thought possible. At all our events – whether mountain climbing, biking, white water rafting or many other sports – four things always happen: (1) Disabled participants build self confidence and physical fitness; (2) The disabled provide a role model for other disabled citizens, encouraging them to take up athletic activities; (3) The disabled provide a moving inspiration to other participants and to spectators when they see disabled individuals can reach goals and meet challenges beyond anyone’s imagination; (4) The disabled and non-disabled participants become a team, working together to overcome those challenges.