☷Texas Challenge riders make a pitstop at Fort Hood
U.S. Army ( By Press Release office)
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Cyclists taking part in the 2022 Project Hero: Ride 2 Recovery Texas Challenge high - five Soldiers as they make their way out of the flagpole circle outside III Corps and Fort Hood Headquarters at Fort Hood , Texas , April 28 . More than 20 riders stopped at Fort Hood on their way to Waco , Texas , that day . The Texas Challenge is a week - long event starting in San Antonio and ending in Fort Worth , Texas . FORT HOOD , Texas - More than 20 cyclists participating in the Project Hero: Ride 2 Recovery Texas Challenge were greeted by Soldiers at III Corps and Fort Hood Headquarters before making their way to Waco , Texas , April 28 . The 1st Cavalry Division Band played fun , upbeat music as the riders made a few laps around the flagpole circle , saying hello to the Soldiers . The non - profit , Project Hero , was founded in 2008 to help veterans , service members and first responders , suffering with both physical and mental injuries , in the hope of bettering their quality of life . One of the ways they carry out their mission is with the Ride 2 Recovery , and more specifically , the Texas Challenge . Their route begins in San Antonio , and over the course of a week , they bike all the way to Fort Worth . Many cyclists participate in the event yearly , including Rosalind Roger who has taken part in the Texas Challenge four times . The Army veteran was excited for the pitstop , specifically at Fort Hood , since she was stationed here in 1985 . “It’s an amazing experience , ” she stated . “For some of us , it’s therapy . For some of us , it’s just to get our minds in a good place and be surrounded by our comrades . It’s just a blessing to be here . ” Roger said the Texas Challenge is therapeutic because the veterans are among their peers , sharing similar experiences and challenges . “Depending on what you’re going through in life , the ups and downs , the challenges that we ( face ) , distractions and everything , it puts you in a mindset . For me it’s a very peaceful mindset , ” she explained . “It amplifies the fact that you’re with other Soldiers that are going through their own struggles and everything , ” Roger said . “We’re here for one another , to empower one another , and make ( each other ) better every day . ” Demetrio Arroyo hugs Rosalind Roger at Fort Hood , Texas , April 28 , before the pair joined other riders on the way to Waco , Texas , in the Project Hero: Ride 2 Recovery Texas Challenge . Veteran Demetrio Arroyo , who was participating for a fourth time , rode along with his friend and fellow veteran , Tarrelle Steward , who was riding in the Texas Challenge for the first time . “He helped me get through some struggles and difficulties . ” Steward said about Arroyo . “He said , ‘Hey , this is a good way to start dealing with some issues . ’ So , I started training with him . ” Maj . Gen . Steven Gilland , deputy commander of III Corps and Fort Hood , welcomed the bikers and commended them for taking on the Texas Challenge . He also said even though they’re individual riders , it’s still about togetherness . “It’s not just about riding a bike . It’s about being with others . It’s about team effort . It’s about learning about other people , and they learn about you , ” he said . “It’s not just a bike ride . It’s therapy . It’s assistance . It’s recovery , and that’s important . ” Gilland listed off some statistics to show the positive impact Project Hero has on veterans . “Project Hero ( has ) built more than 200 adaptive bikes for injured veterans , donating more than 2 , 500 bikes to veterans and logging more than 30 , 000 bicycling miles in 30 states and six countries , ” he said . “Their record of elimination and a decrease in prescription drugs is as much as 65% . ” Arroyo is one of those veterans who’s been able to decrease the amount of prescriptions he has to take . “When I first got brought into this , it was through the WTU program back at Fort Knox ( Kentucky ) . At the time , ( I had ) depression , anxiety . I was on nine pills and somebody else introduced me to the program , ” he said . “After participating in a couple of rides , I was able to speak with other veterans . “I’m proud to say now that I take ( only ) two pills . . . and others as needed , ” he said . “The anxiety’s still there , but I can manage . ” Since he’s experienced such a positive change in his quality of life , Arroyo tries to encourage other veterans to become involved in the ride , just like Steward . “I like to bring other people in that are going through the same thing that I was going through and show them that there’s a different way , ” Arroyo said . “Show them that this is a way to get back what we feel that we lost . ” Todd Setter , CEO of Project Hero , presents a cycling jersey to Maj . Gen . Steven Gilland , deputy commanding general , III Corps and Fort Hood , during a welcome ceremony for riders at Fort Hood , Texas , April 28 . Todd Setter , chief executive officer of Project Hero , thanked everyone for their warm welcome and gave Gilland a cycling jersey signed by the riders before they began their ride to Waco . “Thank you so much for hosting us again , ” he said to the crowd . “We look forward to seeing you next year . ”
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