LAS VEGAS (Nov. 2, 2023) – Ronnie Bondoc has always been attracted to high-excitement, high-impact exercise and adventure. Skydiving, surfing, snowboarding; he’s done it all.
When a doctor told the retired U.S. Air Force veteran his days of high-impact adventures were over, he was devastated. But now, thanks to Hope For The Warriors and its Warrior’s Wish program, Bondoc will be able to head back to outdoor trails on a new e-bike.
“This bike will help me to stay healthy. I’m an active person, so my illness is a hinderance to me,” Bondoc said of the Turbo Creo SL Comp E5 Bike which has an estimated value of almost $5,000. “Hopefully the e-bike will let me stay active all the time.”
Bondoc’s medical diagnosis was twofold. First it was discovered he had spinal stenosis, which was causing numbness in his extremities. He also suffers from PTSD, anxiety and depression.
“I woke up one day and both my arms were numb. I was scared. I thought I was having a stroke, so I went to the ER,” Bondoc said of the incident that led to the stenosis diagnosis.
He also suffered from trigger finger, a condition where a finger suddenly snaps out straight and locks. He wound up having surgery to help correct the trigger finger, but it still occasionally causes pain.
Bondoc was obviously frustrated by the turn of events that erased most of the physical activities from his life. Then he heard abut Hope For The Warriors and its Warrior’s Wish program.
As one of the organization’s first established programs, the Warrior’s Wish program fulfills a desire for a better quality-of-life beyond recovery or supports a quest for life-gratifying endeavors for those who have sustained severe physical and psychological wounds in the line of duty.
“The doctor said I have to avoid all of the high-impact exercise I have been doing. All of the hiking and running and all of that stuff that I was doing, I have to avoid it. Even horseback riding. I can’t even do that,” said Bondoc.
“The doctor said I could go biking or walking. I decided I could at least bike, at least it’s kind of a workout for me. Then I found out about Hope For The Warriors.”
Bondoc served all over the world in his 21-year Air Force career, from Japan to Egypt to Afghanistan and Iraq to his final posting at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada. Since retirement from the Air Force in 2006, Bondoc has become very active in Las Vegas’ military community.
“My goal is to help others and tell my story on how being active helped me combat PTSD, anxiety and depression,” said Bondoc, who serves as an ambassador for several veteran related organizations including Tough Mudder, Mission 22, Operation Enduring Warrior and Triple Dare. “If I can save one person to have a better life, I did my job.”
“Ronnie has worked to help fellow veterans since he retired, so by helping him HOPE is also helping other veterans,” said Robin Kelleher, co-founder and CEO of Hope For The Warriors. “He is the perfect example of someone continuing to serve long after their official military service has ended. Ronnie’s commitment to his physical and mental health, along with his support of fellow veterans is one of the many gifts we get to witness here at HOPE.”
Since 2006, Hope For The Warriors has provided over $2.5 million in grants through its Warrior’s Wish program, assisting with 271 wishes.
Hope For The Warriors
About Hope For The Warriors: Founded in 2006, Hope For The Warriors is a national nonprofit dedicated to restoring a foundation of stability, strength and community for post-9/11 veterans, service members and military families. Since its inception, Hope For The Warriors has served over 159,000 through a variety of support programs focused on providing financial, career and educational stability; physical and emotional strength; and social support that builds community. One of the nonprofit’s first programs, Military Spouse and Caregiver Scholarships, has awarded 232 scholarships to caregivers and families of the fallen. For more information, visit hopeforthewarriors.org, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.