Eastern Oklahoma VA Health Care System
AMBUCS Donates Therapeutic Tricycle to Veterans
Since the mid-1990’s, National AMBUCS Inc., a non-profit organization, has been donating Amtryke therapeutic tricycles to individuals with disabilities.
The tricycles, which can be customized to include a hand-crank, help individuals achieve great mobility and independence, and can also be an exercise tool for those who cannot run or ride a regular bicycle.
Approximately five years ago, AMBUCS began a new Veterans Initiative to assist disabled Veterans along with those undergoing rehabilitation. Throughout the year, local AMBUCS chapters hold fundraisers to purchase the Amtrykes, and then work with the local VA medical center to identify Veterans who have the greatest need.
“We do any and every kind of fundraiser that we can come up with,” said Kent Clingenpeel, a member of the AMBUCS Chapter in Enid, Okla. “We don’t have any big fundraisers. We just keep doing those little fundraisers and eventually we have enough money to buy some bikes.”
On Nov. 20, Clingenpeel and Mark Freeland, also an AMBUCS member in Enid, visited the Jack C. Montgomery VA Medical Center and personally donated seven Amtrykes to Veterans. They also provided a custom fitting so the Veterans would be comfortable and be able to ride the Amtrykes correctly.
“We’re just trying to give back to the Veterans who have served our country,” said Clingenpeel. “They’ve helped us out, so now we’re just trying to help them out as a way of saying thanks.”
Army Veteran Brian Davenport said he was very grateful to receive an Amtryke, which he can ride despite having back problems.
“I can’t do things like run,” said Davenport, who served in Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm. “I can’t ride a regular bike. This gives me a way to get aerobic and cardio exercise again, get my fitness level back up and hopefully help with my recovery. I think it’s fabulous.”
Vietnam Veteran Charles Norris, who suffered a stroke in March and is undergoing rehabilitation to regain his motor skills, said the Amtryke will be a great tool in his recovery.
“I think it’s going to help with my core strength,” said Norris, who served in the Marine Corps. “I think it’s going to help with my left arm. A lot of things you get back, you get back by repetition. I’ll use it as a tool to get better.”
Norris also said he was grateful to AMBUCS for their generosity.
“It’s just unbelievable,” he said. “They’re helping a lot of Veterans today.”