More than 50 wounded Veterans and their families visited the Bruce W. Carter Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center on January 13, 2011 as part of a nationwide event aimed at raising public awareness for those who have been injured in Iraq and Afghanistan. The staff at the Miami VA Healthcare System (MVAHS) waited with anticipation for the arrival of these brave and courageous wounded warriors. They waved flags and cheered them on, providing a warm welcome.
On the 6th Annual Bike Ride from Miami to Key West, they stopped by the MVAHS to meet and greet our staff, and fellow Veterans. Our very own Veteran/Employee Kingston Colin, Surgical Service Secretary, participated in the bike ride for the second year.
A ceremony was held to honor their sacrifice and service. The Gold Coast Quilters Guild handed each a quilt, made with loving hands. The quilts provide meaningful continuous opportunities to enhance the healing process of our Veterans, and give the community an opportunity to begin a positive relationship with the men and women who have served our country.
The unique event aptly named “Soldier Ride” is a cycling program sponsored by the Wounded Warrior Project; a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization headquartered in Jacksonville, FL. All participants with a disability or missing a limb or limbs are provided with the adaptive equipment customized to their individual needs. The Soldier Ride provides physical and mental rehabilitation for wounded warriors through cycling. Soldier Ride also helps to raise public awareness and money for those who have been severely injured during the current war on terror.
Soldier Ride allows the general public to see firsthand the effect of recreational rehab sports and the work of Wounded Warrior Project. It has literally saved the lives of warriors and inspired so many to greater things post-injury. All program participants are provided with the adaptive equipment and training they need to cycle, despite their injury. Nearly two hundred injured service members took to the open road through a soldier ride during 2010.
To learn more about Soldier Ride, please visit http://www.sr.woundedwarriorproject.org