Wounded Warrior Project Hosts 8 Combat Veterans for “Wind Therapy” Motorcycle Tour

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DALTON, Ga. (WDEF) — A group of veterans roared into the Harley Davidson dealership in Dalton today as part of a 12-week, mental health workshop sponsored by the Wounded Warrior Project.

This “Band of Brothers” shares more than their prior combat service in the U. S. Armed forces – they’re also joining together to battle their not-so-obvious injuries, like PTSD. It’s known as “Wind and Throttle therapy”.

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Sponsored by the Wounded Warrior project, its part of a 12-week mental health workshop.

“We talk a lot about wind therapy, throttle therapy – when these warriors are riding, they’re focusing just on the motorcycle, their surroundings, and they’re not focusing on PTSD, TBI, or Combat Stress,” said Jon Blauvelt, Public Relations Specialist, with Wounded Warrior Project.

This week they’re doing 3 days of riding, in addition to having reflective discussions with several weeks of follow-ups.

“Not only do we have being combat veterans in common, we also have the love of riding in common, so to be able to spend the week together, riding through the Georgia mountains – we’re going to go up into Tennessee a little bit, kinda skirt the corner of North Carolina, and being that we have those two strong things in common, it allows us to open up and talk with one another about some of the things we struggle with, and it helps us to realize that we’re not alone, and we’re all in this together,” Jason Bush, U. S. Marine Veteran of Iraqi Freedom.

Thomas Kelley says this is his 4th odyssey – but it’s the first one where “wind therapy” has been employed.

“You meet a bunch of veterans that you’ve never met in your whole life unless you served with them and that’s a very rare that you’re on the same odyssey. But, you pick up on day 1 when you first get there and meet everybody, it’s just like you’ve served for 20 years together and it’s leads off in laughs and after we’re done we part ways, we keep a big group text going and it’s wonderful. It’s helped me out tremendously,” Thomas Kelley, U. S. Army Veteran, with 2 tours in Iraq.

The Mountain Creek Harley Dealership hosted the warriors today for a tour and a cookout.
For more information, check out: Wounded Warrior Project.org.

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Ashley is a lifetime Chattanooga area resident, and a 1987 graduate from UTC, with a BA in communications. While there, he was commissioned through the ROTC program, served simultaneously in the 1/181st field artillery Tn. Army National Guard, finished Airborne school, was a member of the Scabbard and Blade military honor society and ROTC Rangers, the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity, played snare drum with the UTC Marching band, and played in a southern rock band called Southern Atmosphere, while working a full time job as a trainer at the Sports Barn. He also won the Southeastern United States teenage bodybuilding competition during this time. Ashley has been with News 12 Now for 21 years. Prior to working here he was a videographer, director, producer and editor at Falcon Cable TV in Dalton, Ga. for 6 years where he produced thousands of commercials and dozens of hour long features. He also worked as a freelancer and employee at another network affiliate in Chattanooga. He has operated a part time video production business from home for 25 years. He says his passion is telling stories that feature people who give of themselves to help others, and stories that inspire people to make positive changes in themselves and their communities. Ashley is ecstatically married to Debbie Henderson, and has two step sons, a daughter in law, a sister, and lots of aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews, and great nieces and nephews. His parents are celebrating their 60th anniversary this year. Ashley and Debbie are active members of Brainerd Baptist Church. His interests include weight training and cycling with his wife, photography, poetry, playing drums, and checking off items from his extensive honey-do list. If you would like to reach Ashley, email him at ahenderson@wdef.com.