Raising awareness comes in many forms, but two veterans have taken it to the next level. Michael Priddy and David Allison are riding their bikes across the nation to raise awareness for Mighty Oaks Warrior Programs and for veterans that are suffering with post traumatic stress disorder.
Mighty Oaks Warrior Program sponsors a facility veterans can go to for support and operates outreach posts. At these locations, vets can get help dealing with the effects of PTSD.
“This program saved my life and changed my life,” Priddy said. “If I didn’t go to this program and be shown by men just like me that we can change. I am not sure where I would be today.”
Their journey started in Squaw Valley, Calif., on April 28 and there final destination is the Irag and Afghanistan Memorial in Quantico Va.
“Our hopes during our journey are to reach as many people as we can and get the word out about this program and hopefully get help for these veterans that are suffering with PTSD through the Mighty Oaks Program,” Allison said.
Their journey brought them through Great Bend on Wednesday and they were greeted by members of the VFW Post 3111 where they had some time to talk to the members of the post about their mission and the program.
“I think their mission is a tremendous help to the veterans and their families,” Post Commander Laforrest Bodine said. “These veterans can get the undivided attention they need with this program. It will not only help the veteran but it will also be beneficial to their family as well.”
These two riders will have completed 2,700 miles once their mission is complete and they average about 75 miles a day and have came across all types of weather on their journey.
From sunny weather in California, snow in Colorado and cool and rainy weather as they cross Kansas, their mission stays the same as they travel.
According to the Mighty Oaks Warrior Program website, the organization is committed to serving the brokenhearted by providing intensive peer-based discipleship through a series of programs, outpost meetings and speaking events. Programs are for men, women and cover such topics as mentorship and marriage and other subjects at locations nationwide.
The warriors who attend are fully sponsored for training, meals and lodging needs to ensure that upon arrival to the ranch, they are focused solely on their recovery.
The program’s leadership team works to connect with the soldiers and their families.
Since all instructors are program alumni, they each have experienced tragedy and hardships through their service. Having endured deployments, family separations and having learned to handle the effects of PTSD (both in war and at home), the instructors are able to connect to the students on a peer level.
For more information about the programs visit mightyoaksprograms.org and for more information about the riders journey visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/NoManRidesAlone.