By LaRoy Smith

National AMBUCS, Inc. is a national charitable service organization. The goal of AMBUCS is to create mobility and independence for people with disabilities. The AMBUCS mission is fulfilled by members of local chapters who among other things provide AmTryke therapeutic tricycles to people with disabilities.


Earlier this year, the organization contacted the recreational therapists at Jefferson Barracks and told them they were coming to St. Louis for their annual convention and, per their mission, wanted to donate bikes to disabled veterans. A day was set aside at the JB Gym for applications and fittings. With much hope, the veterans came and applied and were fitted for the best type of bike for their condition. Then the wait began.

On Wednesday evening, October 29, over 30 veterans from our area were treated to a dinner at Union Station. Afterward, there was an individual introduction and indoor parade of all the veterans riding their new bikes. Much applause, many tears.

Here’s a hat’s off to AMBUCS and all their participating sponsors who made this possible. Thank you AMBUCS for our new bikes. Hand-cycling here I come!

That could be the end of this article, but no, there’s more. Many of us who already receive our healthcare from the VA know about the benefits of the therapies we receive from our dedicated therapists and of the participation in the many athletic and other opportunities provided by PVA at the Winter Sports Clinic in Colorado and both the Golden Age Games and the National Wheelchair Games. It’s an awesome collaboration.

Now, I challenge all of you who haven’t yet participated to come to JB Spinal Cord Unit and challenge yourself to any of a myriad of adaptive opportunities – Air Guns, Archery, Arts & Crafts, Basketball, Boccia, Bowling, Clay and Skeet Shooting, Computer Classes, Creative Writing, Dominoes, Fishing, Golf, Hand-Cycling, Nine-Ball, Photography, Recreational Outings, Scuba, Softball, Snow Skiing/Snowboarding, Swimming, Theatre Arts, Track & Field Events, Water Skiing, Water Therapy, Weightlifting and much more.

Surprised? Never tried any of these before? Don’t worry, many of us in these programs hadn’t either before we worked with our therapists. Those of us who have tried many of these new activities are here to encourage you and share the fun we’re already having. Come on, get involved in PVA and any or all of the activities above at the VA.