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Cool Schools: Team River Runner Teaches Wounded Vets To Kayak

8:22 AM, Dec 10, 2010   |    comments
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WASHINGTON, DC (WUSA) -- "It's just a lot of fun to work with these guys who've done so much it feels good."

Cole Moore, a sophomore at Walt Whitman High School in Bethesda, is talking about the why he volunteers for "Team River Runner." The non-profit seeks out severely wounded vets at Walter Reed Medical Center, and they teach them how to paddle a kayak.

Walt Whitman Teacher Joe Mornini started the program that's now in 25 states. "We know that they like to do high adventure things and like to have adrenaline, so we can take just about anyone out on the river, the ocean white water, and we can give them that adrenaline rush back."

Brandon Huff lost his leg and suffers from several traumatic brain injuries after being hit by a road side bomb in Iraq.  He says when he found himself in Walter Reed, he knew he had to make a decision: "I can sit here in bed or a chair for the rest of my life and be miserable or I can do something about it."

Team River Runner gets results.  Veterans with traumatic brain injuries says paddling helps them focus and make decisions better.

For Brandon, it's proven to be a life changer: "Now it's more of a lifestyle and an obsession."

If you'd like to contribute to the program, to go TeamRiverRunner.org.

Email your cool school ideas to Mike Hydeck.

Written by Mike Hydeck
9NEWS NOW & wusa9.com

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