Eastern Oklahoma VA Health Care System
Non-Profit Donates Tricycles to Veterans
On May 31, National AMBUCS, Inc. donated three AmTryke therapeutic tricycles to Veterans who are undergoing outpatient rehabilitation treatment at the Jack C. Montgomery VA Medical Center (JCMVAMC) and Ernest Childers VA Outpatient Clinic in Tulsa. The organization also donated an additional three therapeutic tricycles to the JCMVAMC Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Service, which will be used by our Veterans as a form of recreation and physical therapy.
AMBUCS is a non-profit organization with approximately 140 volunteer chapters in 30 states. Their mission is to create mobility and independence for people with disabilities.
Kent Clingenpeel, President of AMBUCS, Inc., said four chapters in Oklahoma and Kansas teamed up to raise the money for the tricycles.
“Our passion is to help disabled Veterans get out and enjoy life again,” said Clingenpeel.
Among the three Veterans who received a therapeutic tricycle was Marine Corps Veteran Jeff Hudgens, who was injured by an improvised explosive device in 2004 while riding in a Humvee in Iraq.
Hudgens suffered a traumatic brain injury as a result from the blast and has undergone outpatient rehabilitation treatment at JCMVAMC since 2005.
Meghan Collins, a JCMVAMC Physical Therapy Assistant, said the tricycle will help Hudgens and other Veterans become more active outdoors instead of leading a sedentary lifestyle.
“They haven’t been able to ride normal bikes, but now they can ride these adaptive bikes and go outside and ride with their families or grandchildren,” said Collins. “It’s just going to help their personal lives as well as their physical health.”
Hudgens said he was thrilled to receive one of the tricycles and hoped it would help him lose weight.
“I need to start shedding some weight, so this is going to help a lot,” said Hudgens, who is currently a student at Northeastern State University (NSU) in Tahlequah. “I’m really excited to get back out and do something with my friends, because they’ve all got bikes and I’m always sitting at the house. So this will be excellent for me to get back out and do something.”
Collins said she hopes Hudgens will ride the tricycle to his classes at NSU.
“He’s made huge strides, but riding a bicycle is something I don’t think he ever thought was possible until AMBUCS came in and he saw the adaptive tricycles,” said Collins. “Our goal is for him to ride it back and forth from his college classes and be out riding with his friends.”
Hudgens said he is grateful to AMBUCS for the gift.
“I don’t know if I can put it into words,” he said. “It’s phenomenal. I appreciate whoever had a hand in helping with this. This is going to help me out a lot.”
Earlier this year, AMBUCS also donated two AmTryke therapeutic tricycles to JCMVAMC Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Service. With staff supervision, Veterans will have the opportunity to ride one of the tricycles outside instead of using a stationary bicycle indoors.
“The Veterans ride the bikes inside the gym, but outdoors is better,” said Collins. “Everybody likes to go outside.”