Articles

Article ©2013 TEAM RWB


The Veterans' Situation

Nearly 2.5 million American men and women have deployed in support of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom since 2001. Over the next 4 years, approximately 1.2 million service members will retire or separate from active duty, creating a huge number of new veterans.

While a tremendous amount of support has been focused on wounded veterans, much of that support occurs between the time of injury and discharge from active duty or inpatient care. Further, there is an enormous population of veterans who suffer from the invisible wounds of TBI, PTS, depression, and survivor's remorse. Many of these veterans have not been diagnosed with an injury and will not actively seek care.

Most combat veterans struggle with re-integration to some degree. A recent survey shows that 58% of veterans do not return to their hometown upon leaving the service.

Team RWB's Approach

Our mission is to enrich the lives of America's veterans by connecting them to their community through physical and social activity. Our chapters establish local programs that provide consistent opportunities for veterans to meet other veterans and members of their community through activities like running, cycling, CrossFit, picnics, and ball games. With chapters in almost 40 cities (and growing) we are poised and committed to delivering consistent programs to veterans over a long period of time, where they live.

Team RWB chapters facilitate weekly exercise events, monthly social events, as well as attending numerous local races and athletic events. These activities create connected communities where all members benefit from being part of the Team. We also have programs to support referred veterans through 1-on-1 or small group interactions and often provide financial support for veterans to acquire the proper exercise gear or sign up for a local race.

Recent research has shown exercise to be a very effective tool for combating depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress. In fact, some studies show it to be as effective as medication and counseling. When that exercise is conducted in a group or team setting, there is a multiplier effect. A recent survey showed that 41% of veterans would exercise more if they had a group or team to do it with.

Ultimately, the challenge of veteran reintegration is vast and complex. While we may not be able to solve all veterans' issues, we know that exercise and personal connectivity is making veterans better. Knowing that, we are committed to building communities and programs that provide this service.

Learn more at Team RWB