San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas
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March 23rd, 2009
Wounded vets to cycle through San Marcos

by PAT MURDOCK

The public is invited to come out to the American Legion Hall, 1705 N. Interstate 35, at 6 p.m. Monday, March 30, when San Marcos American Legion Post 144 hosts a dinner for the men and women participating in the “Road 2 Recovery” bicycle ride’s Texas Challenge.

According to Post 144 Commander Tom Tvrdik, a limited number of dinners will be available for the public to purchase.

More than 60 bicyclists and support personnel – including actors Adam Baldwin (Full Metal Jacket, NBC’s Chuck) and Mike Vogel (Cloverfield, Poseidon) – are expected to depart from Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio about 10 a.m. March 30 to begin a seven-day ride to the Texas Rangers ball park in Arlington on Saturday, April 4.

The “Road 2 Recovery” cyclists are “wounded warriors” – U.S. veterans who have received war injuries – who have turned to cycling to boost their physical and mental rehabilitation.

“We hope some of the community will come out to the Legion Hall to give the cyclists a San Marcos-style welcome,” Tvrdik says. “The American Legion Hall is the best site for the public to interact with the riders during their visit in San Marcos,” he added.

Local American Legion and American Legion Auxiliary members will be preparing a spaghetti dinner for about 100 guests. San Marcos Mayor Susan Narvaiz will officially welcome the group to San Marcos. Musical entertainment after dinner will be provided by Legionnaire Alan Cameron and Austin singer- songwriter Cheryl Murdock, a San Marcos native.

Ladies from American Legion Auxiliary Units 41 in Lockhart and 177 in Luling have stepped forward to help San Marcos American Legion and Auxiliary members with dinner preparation and service. Lockhart members will be baking cakes for the dinner, says Unit President Marilyn Kemp, while Luling Unit 177, the home unit of 10th District American Legion Auxiliary President Madeline Seydler, made a financial contribution toward the welcome in San Marcos. Seydler and Kemp will be coming to San Marcos to help serve the dinner guests.

The Texas Challenge riders will travel from San Antonio to San Marcos on back roads that will take them by Seguin, with the final section on Hwy. 123, convenient to the Hampton Inn and Suites where they will spend the night. They will be accompanied by a USA canteen to provide snacks for their rest stops along the way. American Legion Riders motorcycle riders are also expected to accompany the bicyclists.

San Marcos will be the first of six towns where the cyclists are scheduled for overnight stays.
They will head for their next stop in Austin Tuesday morning, March 31.

A supporter of America Supports You, a Defense Department program connecting citizens and companies with service members and their families serving at home and abroad, the “Road 2 Recovery” organization’s mission is to improve the health and wellness of wounded warriors by providing the life changing experience of bicycling.

According to Road 2 Recovery founder John Wordin, the idea for the program originated a few years ago when he was invited to do a ride with veterans from the Palo Alto, Calif., Veterans Affairs facility who suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder. The facility had started a cycling program as a regular part of the patients’ mental rehabilitation, he said.

“Participating in cycling helps speed up their recovery process,” Wordin said. R2R supports Spinning® Recovery Labs and outdoor cycling programs at military and VA locations around the U.S. to help injured veterans overcome obstacles they face. “There have been a lot of studies done on physical activity, and there are two things it does. One is it decreases depression. The second thing is that doing a physical activity helps develop your muscles,” he says.

The ride map and other details may be viewed at the organizations’ website at http://TheRoad2Recovery.org.

For more information or to see how you can assist, call American Legion Auxiliary President Pat Murdock at 512-353-1943 or Commander Tvrdik at 512-353-8443.

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