Team River Runner believes that every wounded and disabled veteran deserves the opportunity to embrace new challenges, invoke leadership, and promote camaraderie. Team River Runner provides an outlet to fulfill these beliefs – inviting wounded and disabled war veterans and their families to participate in adaptive paddling programs. Founded in 2004 at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, we now offer weekly paddling sessions in 45 locations across the nation. Team River Runner is more than an adaptive sports program. It’s a program that provides hope and healing to those who have risked so much, yet asked for so little. It’s an opportunity to enjoy nature and realize its social, physical, and emotional benefits, whether it’s tackling whitewater rapids or paddling on peaceful flat-water. It’s an environment that facilitates connection, allowing veterans to reunite with their families and forge relationships with those who have endured similar pain. Our veterans are on the river to recovery.
Improvements to protective clothing and equipment for the U.S. military have led to fewer combat deaths, but also to an increase in the rate of severe injuries, such as loss of limbs. Between March 2003 (the start of the U.S. invasion of Iraq) and February of 2012, 6,350 U.S. troops have died and over 47,333 have been wounded in Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), Operation New Dawn (OND) and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), according to the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) www.defense.gov/news/casualty.pdf.
Wounded service members endure many months of surgeries, physical and readjustment therapy, prosthetic fittings, and other life changes. Against this backdrop, those who are able will welcome a chance to pick up a new challenge, and get out of the daily routine of their treatment for a day. They are attracted to whitewater and adventure kayaking because it offers an exciting way to improve their health, strength, and connection with nature.
TRR is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization incorporated in the state of Maryland. Visit Team River Runner
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