SOURCE: Help Hospitalized Veterans

December 28, 2010 12:51 ET

Help Hospitalized Veterans Announces VA Rehabilitation Events, Changing Lives Through Sports

WINCHESTER, CA--(Marketwire - December 28, 2010) - The Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) six annual national rehabilitation special events are changing the lives of many veterans for the better. The events are designed to give injured and disabled veterans an opportunity to learn new skills.

"I'm sure glad I was in the military, because VA saved my life when I fractured my neck in a bicycling accident -- an accident which resulted in my quadriplegia," said Wayne Ross, a veteran from Massachusetts. "Prior to the accident I was in the Air Force," added Ross. Before his injury, Ross was a professional long distance cyclist attempting to break the world record in 'longest journey.' Starting from Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, Ross and Christopher "Spike" Ramsden planned to cycle 16,000 miles to Cape Horn, Argentina. They reached the midway point in the capitol of Guatemala City, but Ross collided with a bus. At Ross' insistence, Ramsden continued the journey and not only broke the world record but did it in record-breaking time.

Being a lifelong athlete and never one to shy away from a challenge, Ross was introduced to adaptive sports at a VA Winter Sports Clinic, designed to introduce injured and disabled veterans to winter sports activities. Since then he has attended several VA rehabilitative events, but it was at VA's National Veterans Summer Sports Clinic held this past September in San Diego that Ross said the VA gave him an important piece of his life back. "The adaptive sports technology and equipment now available is making it possible for disabled veterans to have an active and rewarding leisure lifestyle," said Mike Lynch, president and CEO of Help Hospitalized Veterans, one of the founding sponsors of the Summer Sports Clinic.

Ross says it takes him all summer to travel the distance he used to achieve in one day, but he is grateful for all that the VA has given back to him. "VA takes care of me really well. I'm so grateful to the clinicians, therapists, sponsors and volunteers who make these events possible. I look forward to these events all year and can't begin to describe how grateful I am that VA gave me cycling back," said Ross.

In addition to co-sponsorships of many of VA's annual special events, HHV is the largest supplier of therapeutic arts and craft kits to VA and military hospitals worldwide. Since 1971, HHV has donated over 28 million arts & crafts to veterans. For more information about HHV's products and services visit www.hhv.org or call 1-888-567-VETS.

Documents and/or Photos available for this release:

PDF_OF_RELEASE

To view supporting documents and/or photos, go to www.enr-corp.com/pressroom and enter Release ID: 281666