On Oct. 14, Foundation 14 and the Law Tigers are honoring a Texas veteran with a free motorcycle at the Shade Tree Saloon & Grill in Spring Branch, TX.
The mission of Foundation 14 is to promote the mental health of our veterans by providing them with a means to experience the world on the back of a motorcycle. This cathartic process helps through proven methods, like Wind Therapy, and gives veterans peace of mind and an avenue to heal post-traumatic stress syndrome. In addition to giving deserving vets a free motorcycle, the Foundation also provides motorcycle modifications, fundraising and community partnerships.
Helping Veterans Heal Trauma
Foundation 14 co-founder Maria Caruso said the Oct. 14 event is significant because it is the first time a veteran in Texas will receive a motorcycle. On average, Foundation 14 awards two motorcycles per year, depending on donations and budget. The Texas event is yet another way the organization helps veterans and their families.
“We are very excited about this event as it will be a new area for us to branch into,” Caruso said. “Texas, with a high population of veterans, and a strong commitment within its communities, makes sense for us to focus there. We have seen the impact riding can have and are dedicated to helping get more veterans riding as a result.”
Caruso said the focus of Foundation 14 is veterans – not necessarily the number of motorcycles given away or modified. The organization has several programs, including Bike Presentations, Bike Modifications and Bike Repairs, but the ultimate focus is always on providing help when a veteran is in need.
“When we find someone that needs assistance, we do fundraising to make that project happen,” Caruso explains. “We pull the community together. The community makes it happen – we just put the work in. We will modify as many motorcycles as are necessary if it means getting a veteran to ride.”
Using Wind Therapy as a Tool to Heal
An important and complex part of the service Foundation 14 provides is Wind Therapy. Caruso said for a veteran who responds to this type of trauma release, the effect can be profound and provides an outlet that’s difficult to duplicate in terms of feeling. She said research has shown many factors come together to create a therapeutic experience which results in stress reduction, mental focus, clarity, and physical benefits as well. It all comes together to heal the whole person, Caruso said.
“Riding also provides adrenaline, a sense of independence, requires higher cognitive thinking and a sense of control. When you provide these types of experiences for veterans, it can sometimes simulate their experience in the military,” Caruso said. “Coupling this with a positive environment, it allows for a unique experience that taps into trauma but allows for a positive release.
“There are many parts to riding and therefore many benefits. In addition to those mentioned, there is also the riding community itself. The most common answer we hear from our veterans who ride, when asked about what they get most out of riding, is the camaraderie,” she said. “For them to be around others and share the same experiences, challenges, and enjoyment in riding – it begins to build a bond. It is something they begin to enjoy and that in and of itself can change their life.”
The Texas Launch event runs from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. and includes the bike presentation, raffles, food and music. An after-party will be held, with details available at the event. The Shade Tree Saloon & Grill is located at 13430 Hwy 281 North in Spring Branch, TX.
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