April 5, 2017
Despite the morning cold and gusty winds, we got a warm welcome from the Montgomery County Sheriff and Round Rock Police Department who escorted us from start to finish today on our ride to Killeen.
After a stop at nearby Ford Elementary School, where the students and teachers came out to cheer us as we rode through their campus, we hit the road to Florence, where we rode through at Florence Middle School and were welcomed by their marching band, cheerleaders, students and faculty, followed by a rest stop at the Florence Volunteer Fire Department.
We continued riding into high winds all the way to our lunch stop at Cleo Bay Subaru in Killeen.
Cleo Bay Subaru always treats Project Hero right and this visit was no exception. We were met by the employees, The Mayor of Killeen, and members of the community who cheered us as we rode into the dealership parking lot, passing under a huge American flag suspended from one of the Killeen Fire Department engines. This is the second year of our VA partnership and among o
ur riders in Texas are Shannon Parker, Veronica Siffert, Brent Arnspiger and Gregory Tennessee, a quartet of mental health clinicians who are providing support to the vets and checking out the new PTSD HeroTrak.
Shannon is an Army brat who attended high school in Germany and currently lives in Sugarland, Texas. She specializes in suicide prevention and rode the 2016 Texas Challenge with us after her first Ride 2 Recovery experience in 2012. As a Veteran she knows the importance of her work and has a passion for helping our healing heroes.
She left active duty in 1998 earned a Masters degree in Social Work from University of Washington and has been working with the VA since 2010.
“I love the Project Hero community,” she said. “The rides are non-conventional therapy and really provide hope and help recovery. There’s no better place to heal mental or physical trauma and the new HEROTrak could do great things…even save someone’s life.” Her message to our riders and all healing heroes is “never give up, lean on your friends, get involved, get off the couch and reach out because we’re here to help.”
`“I’m humbled and honored to be a part of Project Hero and I hope the partnership with the VA continues. It’s been such a positive experience, I've seen the changes that happen on the rides: some riders start a little closed off, but by the end they are part of the community. It’s truly transformative.”
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