Injured Service Members Continue Their Road to Recovery During Soldier Ride Houston
Houston -- Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) Soldier Ride will return to Houston on March 5 for a three-day rehabilitative cycling event. Soldier Ride brings injured service members from across the country together for a long weekend focused on physical health and wellness, camaraderie, and healing.
The event begins on March 5 with a bike fitting where injured service members are fit with adaptive equipment. That evening the public can join service members and Wounded Warrior Project staff at Space Center Theatre for a viewing of the film “Welcome to Soldier Ride” that documents how this inspirational ride began. Soldier Ride began as a one-man affair, when Chris Carney, working as a bartender at The Stephen Talkhouse in Amagansett, NY, decided he wanted to do something to help returning veterans. He biked across the country in 2004, raising funds for Wounded Warrior Project. Watch his journey, and see how the cycling event transformed from an idea in a bar to a WWP program that has helped thousands of returning veterans regain their physical health & wellness.
The next day kicks off with a 15-mile ride starting at NASA Johnson Space Center and will end at the Gilruth Center followed by a tour of Johnson Space Center. Saturday’s 17-mile ride will take place at the Lone Star Flight Museum in Galveston, followed by kayaking and a visit to the Kemah Boardwalk.
During the ride, Wounded Warrior Project provides state-of-the-art cycling equipment to injured service members at no cost, including adaptive hand cycles, trikes, and bicycles to accommodate various injuries and disabilities, as well as upright road bikes for riders not requiring adaptive equipment.
Michael Matthews, a medically retired Army staff sergeant, participated in Soldier Ride Houston in 2014. "Usually by the second or third day, everybody has this attitude like they've been knowing each other for years," he said. The veterans may start out as strangers, he said, but pretty soon "everybody's having a great time, they're encouraging each other and just doing a lot of positive things with each other."
Soldier Ride staff carefully plan each route and engage the local community and law enforcement for support. Soldier Ride is supported across the country by U-HAUL, a founding partner of Soldier Ride, and TREK, both proud supporters of WWP.
About Soldier Ride
Soldier Ride® began in 2004 when civilian Chris Carney cycled more than 5,000 miles coast-to-coast in support of WWP. In 2005, Carney again cycled coast-to coast, this time with several combat-wounded veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan. Soldier Ride has been welcomed at the White House since 2008 when President Bush called it “the most inspiring athletic event in the country,” and most recently in April 2014 by President Obama where WWP Alumni met privately with him before the event.
Soldier Ride is a physical health & wellness program of WWP, which envisions a generation of wounded veterans well-adjusted in body, receiving the care they need to maximize rehabilitation and live active and healthy lives. Through peer support, adaptive sports, health, nutrition, and recreational activities, WWP helps warriors achieve independence and pursue an excellent quality of life.
More information on Soldier Ride is available at soldierride.org.
Wounded Warrior Project®
Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) has a vision of fostering the most successful, well-adjusted generation of wounded service members in our nation’s history. To achieve this objective, WWP is committed to a lifetime of service and commitment through its mission: to honor and empower Wounded Warriors. WWP currently serves more than 63,000 warriors and over 9,000 family members through its 20 unique programs and services. The purpose of WWP is to raise awareness and to enlist the public’s aid for the needs of injured service members, to help injured servicemen and women aid and assist each other, and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs. WWP is a national organization headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida. To get involved and learn more, visit www.woundedwarriorproject.org.