Military veterans from Santa Clarita are asking for your support as they raise money for a rehabilitation program that helps their comrades.
From October 3-9, as part of the Ride 2 Recovery program, local veterans Steven Watanabe and Dan Kaplan will hop on their bicycles and travel hundreds of miles down the Pacific Coast Highway, making stops along the way to greet crowds showing their support.
Ride 2 Recovery is a nonprofit that provides exercise equipment for wounded and traumatized veterans. Its goals include bringing veterans together at clinics and events to improve health and morale.
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Although the program benefits veterans, all are welcome to ride for the cause.
“Just getting the word out there is a big deal,” said Watanabe. “When somebody has a traumatic event, it helps to talk about it with other people who have been in the same situation.”
Both Watanabe and Kaplan participated in last year’s trek, dubbed the Golden State Challenge since riders see much of the California coast after pushing off in San Francisco and finishing in West Los Angeles.
“After we rode in that we decided to start a small team and raise some money,” said Watanabe. “We were basically getting a free ride because we’re veterans. They paid for everything.”
Inspired by his experiences speaking with other veterans, Steven started miliatarysupportblog.com, which gives imperative information to all active and veteran officers.
“We felt we needed to contribute more.”
Joining his brother on what they’ve named Team 661 is Bryan Watanabe.
“My mom and I were trying to help my brother by raising money for this whole event because he’s had a really hard time,” he said.
“Nobody’s supporting him. We made a video — we’ve been making phone calls. We came can to find out that I’ll be able to do this ride with (Steven) and Dan. I think it’s going to be really awesome.”
Both Steven Watanabe and Dan Kaplan will be interviewed on KHTS AM-1220 to spread the word about bike ride as well as discuss their experiences in the military. The schedule is below:
7:40 a.m. and 4:40 p.m.
8:40 a.m. and 4:40 p.m.