The growing demand for more Soldier Ride events prompted Wounded Warrior Project to add 12 new traditional rides across 11 new cities this year, and a number of them are rapidly approaching as the 2015 schedule hits its stride.
U-Haul is a proud founding partner of Soldier Ride, which honors and empowers injured service members through bikes rides across the country – and beyond.
WWP now boasts 31 Soldier Ride events – up from 19 last year – in addition to four off-road rides focusing on mountain biking. The new events include: Sacramento/Palo Alto, Kansas City, New Orleans, St. Louis, Philadelphia, Cincinnati, Dallas, Oklahoma City, Birmingham, South Carolina, Hawaii and Jacksonville.
Jacksonville, where WWP is headquartered, added a ride in November to its existing spring race.
Sacramento/Palo Alto, Kansas City and New Orleans held their events in the spring, and now four cities – St. Louis (July 9-12), Seattle (July 30-Aug. 8), Philadelphia (Aug. 6-9) and Oklahoma City (Aug. 6-9) – will welcome Solider Ride for the first time over the next several weeks.
Spending time on the bikes and conquering physical challenges with fellow soldiers continues to be a therapeutic and fulfilling experience for veterans who have participated in Soldier Ride.
“My transition to civilian life since retirement in 2013 has been paved with many challenges from daily struggles with PSTD, anxiety and depression to finding a new career,” said Edgar Rivas-Rodriguez, a retired Navy chief hospital corpsman. “Along this journey to physical and emotional recovery, meeting with other warriors who have shared experiences keeps me going and hearing their stories gives me hope.”
“We are strangers, but we are brothers and sisters in arms,” added Sgt. 1st Class Raymundo Soto, who recently experienced his first Soldier Ride. “It’s just great to ride along with other warriors and share stories with people who have experienced the same things I have.”
WWP is a non-profit organization and veterans service organization that offers a variety of programs, services and events for wounded veterans of the military actions following the events of Sept. 11, 2001. WWP is currently delivering 20 programs and services, including Soldier Ride, to more than 80,000 warriors, family members and caregivers through its 20 regional offices.
If there is not an event happening in your area, WWP is always open to adding Soldier Ride in new cities. For additional information about organizing a Soldier Ride in your area, visit http://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/programs/soldier-ride/community-rides.aspx.
Have you or do you plan to participate in one of the new Soldier Ride events? Please share your experience in the comment box below, or just let us know what you think of U-Haul Company’s founding sponsorship.