After being severely injured in Iraq in 2006 by an improvised explosive device, Ryan, a Staff Sergeant in the U.S. Army, has had to learn to do many things all over again.
“Before… I was very physically active, playing multiple sports – including swimming, white water rafting, football, wrestling and basketball,” Ryan says. His injuries, however, made it difficult to continue these activities.
However, with assistance from a CFC-supported charity, Ryan has begun to relearn some of these sports. First, the charity helped him learn to swim again, and then snorkel using adaptive equipment. They also taught him about water safety, and how to kayak. This helped build Ryan’s confidence so that he could actively participate in water sports once again.
“Being on the water is very therapeutic for me. [The organization] provides me with the opportunity to kayak with other wounded warriors with injuries like mine,” Ryan says. “Kayaking provides an outlet for me and helps with my rehabilitation and my independence. It also provides me the opportunity to spend quality time with other wounded veterans, my family and my service dog named Theo.”