SAN FRANCISCO -- Helping improve the quality of life for veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces isn't just something that's nice to do for Matt Moore. It's personal.Moore, the Giants left-hander, was immersed in military life as a youth. His father, Martin, served for 23 years in the Air Force.
SAN FRANCISCO -- Helping improve the quality of life for veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces isn't just something that's nice to do for Matt Moore. It's personal.
Moore, the Giants left-hander, was immersed in military life as a youth. His father, Martin, served for 23 years in the Air Force. One of Moore's best friends since boyhood, Shane Turner, is a combat-wounded veteran. Additionally, Moore is acutely aware of the statistic that approximately 20 veterans commit suicide each day.
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"That's something you can't really walk away from," Moore said recently. "I believe that it's our duty to take care of the people who have protected and served our country and provide help when they need it."
Embodying the spirit of Thanksgiving, Moore thus has thrown his support behind Ride 2 Recovery, a national nonprofit organization that supports veterans and first-responders in recovery from post-traumatic stress disorder and injury through community-based programs and cycling events across the country.
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Launched in 2008, Ride 2 Recovery serves more than 10,000 veterans with its cycling-based programs.
Moore, 27, was introduced to Ride 2 Recovery in February, when he represented his previous team, the Rays, by participating in an "honor ride" in the Tampa-St. Petersburg area. An honor ride is a non-competitive cycling event that allows anybody to ride alongside a veteran.
"There were hundreds of riders there," said Moore, singling out the substantial numbers of veterans recovering from injury on recumbent bicycles. "It was a really cool thing to see."
Early in November, Ride 2 Recovery announced that Moore had joined a month-long fundraising effort that was scheduled to begin on Veterans Day earlier this month. Proceeds were designed to benefit Ride 2 Recovery's PTSD research and treatment programs. Nearly 1,000 cyclists took part in a Ride 2 Recovery event in Las Vegas on Nov. 12.
"I'm just trying to help where I can," said Moore, the 2013 All-Star who joined the Giants last season in a Trade Deadline deal and proceeded to win six of his last eight starts.
Ride 2 Recovery embraces a constructive philosophy for helping veterans make transitions in their lives. Moore appreciates the organization's outlook.
"Causes like Ride 2 Recovery really address [healing] from an approach which I agree with," he said. "A lot of it has to do with getting people active and on their bikes. They've had really good results as far as getting people off medicines and really getting their lives going."
More information can be found at www.ride2recovery.com.
Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.