Wounded veterans bond through adventure therapy

Updated: May. 11, 2021 at 10:05 PM CDT
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - The weather could’ve been better, but for eight veterans, today’s rain is nothing compared to what they’ve been through in their lifetime.

“I got hit by a roadside bomb,” Randy Nantz said.

Nantz lived to tell his story. He lost part of his leg when a bomb exploded while he was serving in Iraq in 2006.

“It’s a life-changing thing, so it takes some time to accept that, and it’s just taking one day at a time,” Nantz said.

One day at a time, with the help of people who have experienced similar life-altering events.

“Dislocated my shoulder, broke seven ribs, collapsed lung, lacerated kidney, broken hip, broken pelvis, broken back, broken neck, and an amputated left leg,” Keith Murphy said.

Murphy is also a veteran. He was told he’d never walk again after he was hit by a car. Their life-changing injuries are now bringing them together.

The Road Warrior Foundation and Adaptive Training Foundation teamed up to bring these veterans to East Texas for some adventure therapy.

Each vet was rolling on his or her three-wheeled motorcycle and getting treated to dinner at Stanley’s in Tyler. But for them, it’s not about the bikes or even the BBQ.

“It feels good because someone understands me. You never have that lonely thing. Sometimes when something happens to you, and it hasn’t happened to anybody else, you get this lonely thing. You’re alienated because no one knows what you’re feeling,” Murphy said.

Four days of being among people whose struggles you understand is just one of many things these vets are grateful for.

“Even though it was cold, and it’s rainy, I’m here with a bunch of good friends of mine, and we’re gonna make the best of it. Regardless, the rain is gonna stop either tonight or tomorrow, and just like in life, we’ll continue our trip and we’ll finish it on a sunny day,” Nantz said.

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