Tuesday, January 10, 2012
On January 13th, Dolphin Research Center (DRC) will welcome a very special group of visitors when the Wounded Warrior Project Soldier Ride comes through the Florida Keys. This adaptive cycling event honors our military men and women as they courageously battle the physical and psychological damages of war. For the third year in a row, the cyclists and their support group will stop at DRC where upwards of 35 soldiers will enjoy a Dolphin Encounter free of charge, thanks to the generosity of the Charles Evans Foundation.
These soldiers are coping with life-altering injuries to body, mind and spirit, including single or double amputations, traumatic brain injury, and post-traumatic stress disorder. To watch them leave their cares behind on land for a joyful time swimming with dolphins inspires all who see the experience take place. For many of the participants, the dolphin swim further empowers them on their journey to restore their physical and emotional well-being.
The Charles Evans Day for the Wounded Warrior Project at Dolphin Research Center has become a true community event. The soldiers arrive to a heroes’ welcome from DRC staff, volunteers and visitors. Each is supplied with a wetsuit, loaned by Tilden’s Dive Shop, Marathon. After the Dolphin Encounter, they will enjoy a delicious lunch provided by the Stuffed Pig, Marathon. Publix Supermarket in Marathon has donated soda, paper goods and utensils. DRC’s volunteers bake desserts and help to serve the meal. The soldiers also receive a complimentary disk of photos from their swim.
DRC members, local residents and visitors to the Florida Keys who visit Dolphin Research Center on January 13th will be able to join in the heroes’ welcome line to greet the Soldier Ride participants. The group is expected to arrive between 12:00 and 12:30 p.m. Admission to the center is free for current members. Other visitors can become members with their donations when they get to DRC that day.
For many years, the organization has committed itself to supporting veterans and active duty personnel from all branches of the United States military. DRC Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer Armando “Mandy” Rodriguez is himself a veteran who served in Vietnam in the U.S. Marine Corps. Throughout the year, DRC seeks to provide programs not only for the wounded warriors, but also caregivers of injured soldiers, family of active duty personnel, and families who have lost a loved one serving in the war.
Posted by The DRC Family at 11:23 AM