Veterans Find Opportunities Through Rowing
The 2014 OKC RIVERSPORT Indoor Rowing & Canoe/Kayak Championships were held February 22, 2014 at the Cox Convention Center. 21 teams overall competed in the Indoor Rowing Corporate Challenge. Three teams represented Heart of a Warrior and were comprised of veterans affiliated with the Oklahoma City Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
Waco Blakely, Patient Advocate in the Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom program office at the Oklahoma City VA Medical Center, believed the Corporate Rowing League would be a great experience for the veterans in his program.
“It has been a wonderful opportunity to develop friendships and be around others who suffer similar disabilities,” Blakely said. “We couldn’t be happier with the Boathouse District.”
Retired Army Task Force Sniper Mike Harryman has earned four Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star. This highly decorated veteran served our country for many years before retiring, and as a member of the Heart of a Warrior team he has found a new love for rowing.
“I thought this would be a good opportunity for veterans to get out and fellowship with other veterans,” Harryman explained. “It’s a great way to relieve anxiety.”
Warriors for Freedom Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides support to our nation’s veterans, sponsored the Heart of a Warrior teams.
“They’ve been right there for us, 100% supporting us,” Harryman said.
As the Heart of a Warrior teammates cheered each other on, it was obvious they all share a special bond.
“I love my teammates and spending time together with them,” Harryman explained. “A lot of people just have friends, with this rowing team we have a family.”
OKC RIVERSPORT is proud to work with our veterans and we look forward to partnering with them again in the spring season. For more information about the Corporate Rowing League, contact us online or call (405) 552-4040.