American Patriot: Project Hero

A Patriot is

“A person who loves, supports, and defends his or her country and its interests with devotion.”

The American Patriot Series acknowledges the activities of individuals, celebrities, or groups who have taken it upon themselves to give of their time, effort, and/or money to support active duty military personnel and/or our country’s veterans. Their actions identify them as a patriot and this series is dedicated to recognizing them as such.

Project Hero is a groundbreaking national non-profit organization dedicated to helping Veterans and First Responders affected by PTSD, TBI and injury achieve rehabilitation, recovery and resilience in their daily lives and increasing awareness to combat the national mental health emergency posed by PTSD and TBI.

The organization was founded in 2008 and has three major programs: (1) Ride 2 Recovery cycling events; (2) Project Hero HUB community-based programs; and (3) Project Hero Research Institute for Mental Health.

Ride 2 Recovery (R2R) came about from a discussion between John Wordin, a professional cyclist and founder of the Fitness Challenge Foundation, and a therapist with The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). They agreed that cycling might be considered as excellent therapy for a number of injuries incurred by our military service members, including PTSD and TBI.

Peter Bylsma, Director of Marketing Communications for Project Hero, describes the other major programs:

Project Hero HUB Centers currently offer rehabilitation, family service, community service, employment and education programs for veterans and first responders with PTSD, TBI and MST in more than 50 cities throughout the nation. Project Hero has been working closely with mayors to open HUB Centers in cities throughout the US and partner with VA Medical Center directors following a recent authorization memo from Secretary Shulkin directing VA Medical Centers nationwide to integrate Project Hero HUB programs at their facilities.

The Project Hero Research Institute for Mental Health works

Project Hero
Ride 2 Recovery cyclists

With the VA and leading research partners to increase program effectiveness, provide tools for those with PTSD, TBI and MST and address the national PTSD crisis facing our nation. The Research Institute provides critical evidenced-based program support that results in positive therapeutic outcomes at less cost and improves the overall mental health & well-being of our healing heroes.

Since their inception in 2008, Project Hero has had a number great successes:

It’s helped tens of thousands of our Healing Heroes at no cost to participants through their programs in more than 50 cities throughout the US.

More than 95% of Project HERO members reported moderate to significant improvement in overall health and fitness.

It has built 200 adaptive bikes for veterans have suffered debilitating injuries from their service to our country.

And they have provided over 2,500 bikes to other veterans.

Please note that Project Hero invites the public to participate in their efforts to assist “healing heroes” with their Ride 2 Recovery Program. Here are three ways you can help:

1. Participate or volunteer in an Honor Ridetheir “non-competitive fun rides that raise funds to support our programs and allow the public to ride with our healing heroes.”

2. Sign up to participate or volunteer in a Challenge Ride, a multi-day 300-400 mile rides that push riders to the max.


3. Volunteer with a local Project HERO program.

Sirs: Project Hero truly meets the definition of an American Patriot and we salute you!


Note: Here are other patriots honored in this series:

1. American Patriot: Gary Sinise

2. American Patriot: President George W. Bush

3. American Patriot: Bill O’Reilly

4. American Patriot: Toby Keith

5. American Patriots: Gene Simmons & Kiss

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Chuck Yarling has had many titles in his career thus far: veteran, engineer, math teacher, consultant, technical writer, book author and publisher, and triathlete. He was a member the Military Order of the Purple Heart and Bugles Across America, which plays Taps at military funerals and special events. Spec. 5 Chuck Yarling served with the 26th Combat Engineering Battalion in Vietnam as an awards clerk. His service with the U.S. Army resulted in being awarded the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, and Army Commendation Medal. You may reach Chuck at [email protected]

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