The New Normal

The New Normal

It’s great to see so many people on social media giving thanks on Veterans Day for the service and sacrifice of strangers and loved ones who served in the military for our protection.  And while those accolades are important, it’s also critical that we make sure these brave men and women have access to state-of-the-art technology and treatment to ensure they are reaching the highest level of function possible. Veterans with traumatic limb loss are learning what it means to return to their work and home lives following an amputation. But they aren’t altering their life goals or downgrading their plans – rather, they are relying on state-of-the-art technology and advancements in patient care to help them reach optimal clinical outcomes, whether it’s running again or attending to activities of daily living. They are veterans like Travis Mills, a retired U.S. Army staff sergeant and one of five Afghanistan war veterans to survive a quadruple amputation. There’s many words to describe him, but one of the most powerful ones is runner. Fitted with specially made running blades, Mills can now run more 1 1/2 miles. He plans to do a 5K. In a story for Runner’s World, he describes his first experience on the blades this way:  “I was so excited to get running, I broke one in half one of the first times I put them on. I drove two hours that same day to get it replaced. I wanted to keep at it.” Mills is an example of a veteran seeking the highest level of function possible – a goal that should be the norm for all people with limb loss. It’s this “new normal” that offers...
Wounded warriors cycle through Texas

Wounded warriors cycle through Texas

  **** They started on Sunday, March 23. Two hundred wounded warriors and their supporters gathered in Houston to ride 450 miles over the course of six days. For many, it was a journey on the path to healing. The riders were part of the UnitedHealthcare Ride 2 Recovery Texas Challenge that ended in Arlington on March 28 at AT&T Stadium, to a crowd of NFL players ready to cheer them to the finish. The majority of the riders were part of Project HERO, a program that uses cycling to help injured veterans on the road to mental and physical rehabilitation. President and founder of Ride 2 Recovery, John Wordin, told the Wall Street Journal there are 43 such programs, which feed into Ride 2 Recovery, at military bases and VAs across the U.S.. Project HERO was actually started in 2010 at BADER military treatment facility, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. This year was the first time the ride — which is one of six such challenges across the U.S. and in Normandy, France — started in Houston. Ride 2 Recovery documented each day in a series of daily newsletters, summaries of which follow: On Day 1, cyclists rode through towns that fully supported them, lining the streets and cheering them on. The ride ended at College Station, Aggieland, an 85-mile trek. On Day 2, Century Day, the riders completed the longest distance of the challenge — 100 miles — on the road from College Station to Georgetown. It was also Project HERO Day, which honored those participating in the program. ______ The organization highlighted in its newsletter one...