“When I got injured, my mission changed.”
Those are the first words spoken in the video that highlights Nathan Cruz, wounded Army Veteran and member of Team Hope For The Warriors®. It is a sentiment that many service members and veterans can understand. Injuries have changed career goals, future plans, hobbies and activities, family relationships and more. These changes are often times unwanted and unwelcome. Nathan however has utilized sports to bring positive changes.
The video does a great job highlighting Nathan’s progress. He served ten years in the Army, six years in Special Operations. He was first injured while deployed and was sent back to the states. Once stateside, he was hit by a car. Along with his physical injuries, he struggles with the invisible wounds of PTSD.
Prior to his injuries, Nathan enjoyed biking. Post-injury, he assumed that those days were behind him and he sold his bike. When he discovered handcycles, it gave him a great new focus.
“The Three Amigos.”
Not only has handcycling given him a great activity for his physical and emotional rehabilitation, it has given him a new group of friends. He handcycles regularly with two other wounded veterans. They train together, they depend on each other, they understand each other.
Nathan has already completed a number of marathons and bike rides. His list includes the ING Miami Marathon, West Palm Beach Marathon, Melborne Music Marathon, and a marathon in Bogota Colombia. He has also completed two Soldier Rides (Boston and Tampa) and participated in the Warrior Games in both 2011 and 2012. His injuries changed his mission, but he has utilized handcycling to make those changes positive.
Next up for Nathan is the Army 10-Miler in Washington D.C. in October. As part of Team Hope For The Warriors®, Nathan and three other Special Operations veterans will compete in the race, representing Team Hope For The Warriors®. Nathan continues to demonstrate that his injuries have changed his mission, but that new mission is a positive one. Through his athletic events, Nathan is defined by his accomplishments, not his injuries.
Hope For The Warriors® is focused on our mission to restore self, family and hope to our wounded service members and military families. Team Hope For The Warriors® is one program that helps us accomplish our mission.
YOU can support our mission, Nathan’s mission, and others. Join Team Hope For The Warriors® and raise funds to support combat wounded service members and their families. Join Nathan and the other Special Ops guys on our Team at the Army Ten-Miler. We still have bibs left for this sold out race. The fundraising requirement is low and easy to meet.
Nathan has a mission. How about you?
Learn more about joining the Team!