By Jessica Jordan
A local nonprofit organization, Team River Runner, is raising money to support wounded active duty service personnel and veterans of the Afghan and Iraq wars.
The group teaches wounded vets how to utilize whitewater rafting as a form of therapy. To help support their cause, more than 180 wounded service men and women recently competed in a biathlon on the Potomac.
The goal: raise $40,000. The money will be used to purchase boating equipment so that vets like Don Lange who suffered brain damage can hit the river for recovery.
"I think the greatest personal reward for myself is that the adventure sport of kayaking helped my damage brain learn how to learn again. Kayaking as an adventure sport therapy helps the rehabilitative process," Lange says.
Eric Johnson is a member of the group's board of the directors. He says organizing races like Saturday's biathlon takes time and money. That's why the group needs additional supporters.
"It's very difficult to get grants. It's a very tough economic climate and we are hoping that some corporate groups maybe even some that work with our military would want to support our group."
Team River Runner has 25 chapters around the country with more than 2,000 registered race participants.