As a Marine Veteran, I've been blessed with many opportunities to be a part of communities that help Veterans transition out of service, find new communities, and even get back to serving their own communities/country and even the entire globe. Any time that I hear "We don't do enough for our Veterans," I reply: "There is so much out there for us, we just have to be willing to find it...take part, and take the best things from it and take those parts home with us and continue the work ourselves." I'll list below some of the organizations I've been most involved with.
Ride2Recovery <----Click for Link
I vividly recall sitting in my apartment in Los Angeles, CA a few years ago when I saw a news clip showcasing wounded Veterans cycling 500 miles down the coast of California. At the time, I had all but given up riding my bike long distances as I've suffered from chronic pain in my right hip/groin and down the leg. However, when I saw Vets with amputated limbs powering up the mountains of Big Sir, and paralyzed warriors using handcycles to complete the journey, I knew that I no longer had any excuse not to get out and push my limits. I completed the California challenge, and was able to bring home a loaned bike to use as long as I intend to continue to ride with the organization. I was involved enough to graciously receive an invite to the Italy challenge where I was granted a once in a lifetime opportunity to ride up Alp de Huez in France, the day before the Tour rode. Possibly my most memorable event was the Alaskan Mountain Biking Challenge, where we were also blessed with a trout fishing expedition. I have since ridden across Texas, as well as the Gulf Coast Challenge, from Atlanta to New Orleans. Folks, this organization truly turned my own self imposed idea of my own physical fitness abilities on it's head. I actually started to feel like an athlete, and though I've since fallen out of the practice as I've been spending so much time with Bella-girl, I aim to get back at it, and am truly grateful to this organization. Not to mention, how grateful I am for the magic that I've seen it work in the rehabilitation of other Warriors who have said that, without a doubt, R2R has helped save their lives.
Team RWB <--Click for Link
Team Red White and Blue is a fitness community that welcomes Veterans, their families, and civilians alike. To me, it's one of the greatest and most simple missions that exist. Team RWB's mission is to enrich the lives of America's veterans by connecting them to their community through physical and social activity. Wether it be running groups, cross-fit meet ups, rock climbing, paddle boarding, or any other activity you can imagine....Team RWB has a place for you to fit in. Heck, you can even do all of them. One of my favorite things about this organization is that the nation-wide community is so welcoming. While traveling across the country, I've been able to hop online and join in with any group as if I was a local member. If you or anyone you know would like to join the team, spread the word and get them involved.