Approximately two dozen servicemen and women — many wounded -- cycled across the Seven Mile Bridge in the Florida Keys Friday.
The event, called Soldier Ride, is staged to provide inspiration and raise funds for their injured comrades recovering in American military hospitals. Although many riders are missing one or more limbs after combat injuries in Iraq and Afghanistan, they used bicycles with special adaptive equipment to participate. Project organizer John Melia is the executive director of Wounded Warrior.
“Well the wounded warrior project is really just a national effort to aid wounded service members coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan who suffered grave, severe injuries. We have a sports program where we do 62 events around the country, sporting events. It’s a small part of what we do but it’s a very important part because men and women who get to use their bodies again in a meaningful way seem to rehabilitate quicker than those who don’t.”
His group, The Wounded Warrior Project is a nonprofit, apolitical group whose mission is to raise public awareness and support for the needs of severely injured members of the military. Money raised funds basic comfort items for wounded soldiers upon their return to the U.S., conduct adaptive sporting events and clinics, transport soldiers and their families between home and hospital and develop supportive peer-mentoring programs.
Wounded servicemen and women cycled across the Seven Mile Bridge in the Florida Keys Friday to raise money to help their injured comrades. Although many riders are missing one or more limbs after combat injuries in Iraq and Afghanistan, they used bicycles with special adaptive equipment to participate in Soldier Ride.
Angel Barceenas is a solider/cyclist from Los Angeles.
“When I first got injured I always told myself I was going to be able to get back up and do the same thing again. Now I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to do that. But coming out here and proving that I could do it, not only to myself but to other injured soldiers, marines, sailors or air force that it can be done, it’s possible. It’s a great feeling to be able to accomplish a run like this.”
The Keys cycling events were organized by the Wounded Warrior Project, a nonprofit, group whose mission is to raise public awareness and support for the needs of severely injured members of the military. The organization's cross-country and local bicycle trips provide rehabilitative opportunities for injured soldiers.
Monday, 15 January 2007 00:00
Wounded Warrior ProjectWritten by WGCU Newsroom