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Bidwell Park rehab walkers

A new walking group is starting up in Chico for veterans and retired public safety.

Posted: Oct 31, 2019 5:48 PM

CHICO, Calif. - A new walking group is starting up in Chico for veterans and retired public safety.

The group is called the Bidwell Park rehab walkers not only do they focus on their physical health while walking in the park - but they keep an eye out for public safety

Tom Nickell retired as a disabled California Highway Patrol officer in 2008.

After multiple visits to the hospital - Nickell knew he needed to make a lifestyle change.

"My buddy Will and his girlfriend said hey we gotta get you healthy," Nickell said. "And Will and I were discussing it because you know he's injured from the marine corp and I'm from engagements and I said why don't we get like retired public safety people and veterans out here to get them outside in nature in the park its great for post-traumatic stress for what I have and it just makes you relax."

Nickell said the group is more observant than the normal person is because of their experiences and training.

"Well then you got a guy who a guy who was in the marine corps whos worked with special ops who has the training and we have all these guys who have specialized training and we do things differently cause we look at things differently," he said.

The group has a social aspect as well.

"A lot of times we're just like hey you know they talk about their injuries or how they're feeling you got this group of people that have something in common," Nickell said.

Nickell told action news now it's difficult for public safety and military veterans to talk to the normal person.

"It's trust and a brotherhood and its respect for each other you know we put our lives on the line and injured doing our job and people need to realize that," Nickell said.

"This being able to walk and have the commodity and the support and social support is something that's healing in itself let alone the walking and the physical aspect," Jessica Ryan, a social worker said.

"Its very important that we have this bond and we have this group and you know what we're just trying to get more people involved so tag along we'd love it," Nickell said.

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