This past weekend we participated in “Face of America”, a 110-mile bike ride over 2 days from the Capital steps in Washington D.C. to Gettysburg, PA sponsored by World T.E.A.M. Sports. The ride was created for wounded soldiers – many injured serving in Iraq and Afghanistan – to challenge them to overcome any preconceived limitations of their new bodies. Able-bodied service men and women and civilians rode to lend support and join the fun.
Many of these injured soldiers have lost one or both legs, so were cranking out 110 miles on a hand bike. Yes, think of that. The inspiration and determination of these wounded soldiers moved me beyond words.
They are Resilient.
And really, really, really strong.
My pride to be an American swelled.
At 6:30am in front of the capital, getting ready to ride…
Here’s a great shot of a hand bike. 110 miles cranked by hand. Seriously, isn’t that amazing?
And they’re off. The capital loomed large in the background.
Here’s the Running Man on his way…
End of day 1 in Frederick, Maryland. Looking strong.
The Running Man rode with one young soldier wounded in Iraq by an improvised explosive device (IED) in December. He is still in rehab at Walter Reed and was fitted with his prosthetic on Thursday – 2 days before his 110-mile race. The Running Man was overcome by stories such as these that he heard all day riding alongside these warriors. Many raved at the care they had received by the military and the future opportunities available for them. Several had been cleared for active duty and were eager to return to Iraq.
Day 2 and 110 miles later, finishers were triumphant.
On Sunday afternoon in Gettysburg, these Howitzer guns marked the finish. 150 other military personnel flew in to cheer on their wounded comrades.
Mark the end of April on your calendars for 2011 – we’ll be there too. This event really struck a chord with our adorables. Even at their young age, they had a grasp of what these men and women gave to us to secure our freedom.
World T.E.A.M. Sports next event begins May 22nd at the Golden Gate Bridge. 25 wounded warriors will complete “Sea to Shining Sea”, a 63-day, 4000 mile bike ride across America, ending in Virgina Beach, VA. Please visit here to see if they will travel through your area – I’m sure they would love a cheer!
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