July 28, 2017 10:07 PM
On Friday, The Wounded Warrior Project kicked off its first "Soldier Ride" in the Twin Cities.
According to the WWP, the Soldier Ride is a two-day program aimed at helping veterans receive the care they need for physical rehabilitation and to encourage health and wellness among vets.
The project provided bikes and adaptive wheels to fit each rider as needed. The first event was held at the St. Paul Fire Station No. 23 on the 1900 block of Como Avenue, in St. Paul. The 15-mile course took most riders about two hours to complete.
More than 30 veterans participated in the ride, including Greg Padilla. He said he got out of the Marine Corps in 2010 and joined the Wounded Warrior Project.
"I'm here to really show my support," Padilla said. "I am a wounded warrior and some injuries are not always physical but they can be non-visible. There is a scope of traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder."
WWP organizers said for some service men and women, it was the first time that veterans rode a bike since their injuries. Angela Hemmen, who is a coordinator for WWP, said the ride is a great bonding experience for veterans.
"Today is just an introduction to cycling," she said. "It is showing the Warriors what they can do, and they are also learning how to shift on the road."
Hemmen said the event was made possible through partnerships with the St. Paul and Minneapolis police and fire departments.
On Saturday, a 21-mile Solider Ride will begin at 8:30 a.m. at the Minneapolis Fire Station No. 12 on 500 block of 33rd Avenue South.
Updated: July 28, 2017 10:07 PM
Created: July 28, 2017 10:52 AM
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