UNION, NJ – Members and supporters of Operation Rebound, a racing team of disabled veterans, first responders and others, gathered together on Monday at Club Metro USA to celebrate the donation of a hand cycle and club memberships.
Accepting a donated hand cycle, Miguel Martinez, 23, of Roselle Park, said he used to push around town in his wheelchair, but “now I do 10 miles every day on the bike at the track.”
Martinez said he was hit by a car in July, 2016, while out riding his motorcycle. “It was the first day I ever rode the motorcycle and someone cut me off.” Martinez was in a coma for a month and in the hospital and rehab for four months. He had just come off active duty and was in the Army Reserve at the time of the accident. He is in the process of being discharged.
During the event, Club Metro USA donated six complimentary, one-year VIP memberships to Operation Rebound members.
“Club Metro is proud to play a part in helping these heroes achieve their goals,” said Club Metro general manager Matt Bansch. “The least we can do to help honor them for their service and sacrifice is to give them these memberships.”
Michael Boll, Team Captain of Operation Rebound and a Township of Union police officer coordinated the event. Boll said they’ve given away about a dozen bikes this year. Each bike cost about $5,000. “We’re a team,” said Boll. “We also welcome non-veterans. Everyone helps everyone else. Veterans with PTSD can really benefit from talking with someone who is also disabled. It’s like a family.”
Union resident Kevin St. Clair, 46, lost his leg above the knee from a blood clot in July 2016. He said Operation Rebound has offered him moral support and someone to talk to. “There’s a lot to know about prosthesis and insurance,” said St. Clair. “These folks have helped guide me through the process and I’ve been able to meet other people who wear prostheses.”
“We’ve been big supporters of Operation Rebound for the last couple of years and we feel that we have the best facility to provide them what they need,” said Bansch, “whether it’s ample functional training space, state of the art equipment, great classes, all natural juice bar and meals. We’re happy to welcome them to the Club Metro Family.”