WASHINGTON (Nexstar) — It’s similar to Rolling Thunder but there are no rumbling engines. But Wounded Warriors from around the country are rolling through Washington D.C. on bicycles for the annual Wounded Warrior Project’s “Soldier Ride”.
Cycling on the open road played a key role in veteran Jeremiah Pauley’s road to recovery.
“I felt really lost and disconnected. I felt like I was all alone,” said Pauley.
Pauley was wounded in Iraq and thought he’d never bike again. Then he found new life in the “Soldier Ride.” The program connects wounded servicemembers and encourages them to push their limits. This week’s Washington D.C. ride marks a milestone for Wounded Warrior Devin Clark
“This is my first ride, the first time I’ve really gone outside of Walter Reed except occasional visits to my mom,” said Clark.
Participants said the ride helps them overcome physical as well as mental health challenges.
“In some ways it encourages us to talk about them with each other and maybe seek additional treatment,” said Pauley.
When it comes to fitting a wounded warrior for a bike crews takes several factors into consideration including hip and knee angle, comfort and the riders previous injury in an effort to make sure the ride is as natural as possible.
“Lower back issues, shoulder issues, wrist issues, arm issues, any issues the warrior may have we are going to accommodate,” said Jonas Harmon, Wounded Warrior Project.
Jonas Harmon makes bike adjustments for wounded servicemembers. He said equipment includes traditional bikes, handcycles and other tools to address unique needs. Supporters said they’re pumped to be part of a mission supporting those who served and sacrificed.
On Thursday, the Wounded Warriors will make a special stop at the White House to meet President Trump.
For more information, visit the program’s website: https://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/programs/soldier-ride