CHILLICOTHE, Ohio — For many, life is a series of constant adjustments, and that's no different for Army veteran Todd Adams.
What You Need To Know
- Todd Adams is a U.S. Army veteran
- Cycling is a rehab tool for many veterans
- 500 veterans take part in the cycling program at Chillicothe VA Medical Center
As weather in Ohio began to feel like spring, Adams, who served in Afghanistan and Korea, took advantage of the sunny weather and went on a bike ride. It’s been a long journey to get to that point.
“I got hurt downrange, broke my neck and broke my back, and when they medically retired me, they brought me back to Fort Campbell,” Adams said. “I decided I wanted to retire and come back to Ohio and then I ended up here at the VA.”
Adams said it took three years to bounce back from his injuries, but indoor and outdoor cycling has been a big part of his rehab.
He's one of 500 veterans who take part in the cycling program at Chillicothe's VA Medical Center.
Volunteer and ultra-cyclist Doug Chivington is a big part of that effort, raising money to purchase helmets for veterans, many suffering from traumatic brain injuries or PTSD.
“Our son went through two years of rehabilitation, and giving back to other families and helping other veterans is something my wife and I, Amber, really enjoy, and it means so much to us. So many people helped us along the way,” said Chivington.
According to the veteran advocacy group, Resurrecting Lives Foundation, Ohio has 17,000 veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars dealing with PTSD and TBIs.
Adams said he knows in the age of COIVD-19, something as little as exercise, fresh air, and sun can make a big difference in a veteran's mental health.
“Everybody needs help now and then, and this is a great place to get it,” he said. “It gives you a chance to get outside, and clear your head and just kind of enjoy nature and get healthy at the same time.”
Anyone who would like to donate gently-used bikes or helmets to the bike share program at Chillicothe VA Medical Center may reach out to the Center or Resurrecting Lives Foundation.