By Debbie Gregory.
Bicycles intended for wounded Veterans have gone missing and your assistance is needed to get them back.
The bikes, many of them modified for disabled Veterans, were stolen from a shed used by Project HERO, on the campus of Naval Medical Center San Diego, commonly referred to as Balboa Hospital.
Project HERO is a system of recovery and rehabilitation programs that bring the benefits of cycling to wounded service members and Veterans through an organization called Ride 2 Recovery. Project HERO provides training and support in Veteran communities and at facilities that serve wounded service members, such as Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and Naval Medical Center San Diego.
On March 31st, the Project Hero Staff found that sixteen bikes, worth an estimated value of $10,000, were missing. The high price tags of the bikes are due to the fact that they are adaptive bikes, including hand cycles and recumbent bicycles. There were also bikes specially designed for multiple amputees, for use in conjunction with prosthetics.
The bikes are used for rehabilitating Veterans with physical and mental injuries sustained during their military service.For many of the Veterans who use them, the bikes are the only way to get out of a hospital bed and regain a feeling of freedom and normalcy, if only for a moment.
“It hurt me a lot that somebody stole from my fellow Marines, my fellow service members everybody that’s here that used this program for part of healing,” said Jamie Rihn, Project HERO Naval Medical Center San Diego Manager.
Besides their unique designs, the bikes are easily identified by distinctive stickers and markings. All of the bikes carry a distinctive identifier, either the words “Semper Fi” or “Ride 2 Recovery”, or the Ride 2 Recovery logo, which looks like a red and blue interstate highway sign, marked on them.
Naval base police are investigating the theft. Anyone with information on the incident is asked to contact them at (619) 556-1527.
So, if you live in or near the San Diego area, be on the lookout for these bikes intended for wounded warriors. If you see them or anyone riding them, please call the number provided, or your local police department.
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Military Connection: Bikes For Wounded Vets Stolen from Naval Hospital: By Debbie Gregory