11 November 2010

Cycling Veterans

Wounded Warrior Rides 
It is Veterans Day today in the USA. A day to either publicly or privately acknowledge the young men and women in our country who have chosen a life of service. Sometimes their lives are forever changed by injury. No matter your political view, the sad tragedy of a life changed by injury should resonate with all athletes. 
There is a program to help injured soldiers regain their mobility and confidence called the Wounded Warrior Project. The project's mission is To honor and empower wounded warriors by offering advocacy, counseling, support for caregivers, employment-assistance services, adventure challenges, and sports programs. 
One of the sports programs offered is cycling. They provide the soldiers with equipment and the incentive of organized rides to raise further money for the program. Recently my parents witnessed one of the Wounded Warrior cycling events in California. They said it was very moving to see the able-bodied riding next to the wounded soldiers.   
What is a Soldier Ride? "Soldier Ride is a Wounded Warrior Project initiative that provides adaptive cycling opportunities across the country to help wounded warriors restore their physical and emotional well-being. While Soldier Ride has inspired spectators for years, the experience is now open to everyone, allowing the public the opportunity to ride alongside our warriors as they convey a positive message of recovery."
Read more about the project in recent articles on:
Wounded Warrior Project provides equipment and support to participating injured service members at no cost to the warrior. Soldier Ride raises funds for Wounded Warrior Project programs and initiatives. I was interested, if you are, here are the links for donating money or donating your time. Opportunities to volunteer abound, read more about Volunteering at the Soldier Ride. The Soldier Ride in Denver was in August this past year, it is going on my calendar for 2011.