Dorsey Fyffe retired from the Air Force Special Operations Command and Ramond Andalio served as a Navy Corpsman attached to the Marine Corps.
Both are active with Wounded Warrior Project, mentoring other veterans and helping them cope with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI).
“The reason I became very proactive trying to help other warriors is his godfather,” said Fyffe, pointing to his son. “My best friend took his own life from PTSD Memorial Day a year and a half ago, so it means a lot more to me to help other people and do what I can.”
But on this December day, it’s about giving back to the men who served their country.
Andalio said he still remembers helping a Marine during a combat invasion.
“Doc, is this real? And I said, 'it’s going to be OK.' I’m older. The Marines are young. But when we didn’t come back as a whole group, it ruined it. It wasn’t the same anymore,” Andalio said through tears.
11 to 20 percent of those who serve in Iraq or Afghanistan are diagnosed with PTSD, but many do not seek help.
Fyffe encourages service members afraid to seek help to do so at a VA Center confidentially.
“Somebody always needed me," Andalio said. "If somebody needed a band aid, I had a band aid. If there was a gunshot wound, I filled it up; I fixed it."
The vets are used to serving others and serving their country.
What they’re not used to is taking from others, so imagine their surprise when Bill Davidson told them to pick a bike -- any bike they wanted.
“Shock…we weren’t expecting that. It’s just a blessing,” Fyffe said.
“Unbelievable, unimaginable, that’s a lot of money,” Andalio said.
Complete with all the bells and whistles they wanted, each bike retails for close to $30,000.
But the bikes are worth more than money to the veterans.
“Getting out and riding a bike is good therapy because you don’t use a lot of muscle memory thinking about past things. You use muscle memory thinking about the road, the wind, all those good things,” Fyffe said.
Andalio agreed. “I don’t think about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, my disorder, my issues when I’m on the bike. I listen to my music. I feel the breeze in my face.”