Breaking News Bar
updated: 6/27/2013 5:17 AM

Wounded vets ride kicks off Thursday in Rosemont

hello
Success - Article sent! close
  • Hal Honeyman of St. Charles, an adaptive bike specialist for the Wounded Warrior Project, fits James Dahan of Lisle into the recumbent trike on which he will be participating in the Soldier Ride this week. Dahan, a Marine who served in Iraq in 2004, is with his wife, Erin, and children Josie, 10, Maureen, 7, and Kalel, 5.

       Hal Honeyman of St. Charles, an adaptive bike specialist for the Wounded Warrior Project, fits James Dahan of Lisle into the recumbent trike on which he will be participating in the Soldier Ride this week. Dahan, a Marine who served in Iraq in 2004, is with his wife, Erin, and children Josie, 10, Maureen, 7, and Kalel, 5.
    Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • Hal Honeyman of St. Charles, an adaptive bike specialist for the Wounded Warrior Project, works on a bike for Zuleika Cruz Pereira of Junction City, Kan., who served in Iraq in 2003, 2005-6 and 2008 in the Army and Air Force. She will be participating in the Wounded Warrior Project's Soldier Ride.

       Hal Honeyman of St. Charles, an adaptive bike specialist for the Wounded Warrior Project, works on a bike for Zuleika Cruz Pereira of Junction City, Kan., who served in Iraq in 2003, 2005-6 and 2008 in the Army and Air Force. She will be participating in the Wounded Warrior Project's Soldier Ride.
    Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

 
 

About 50 wounded veterans from across the country will join the annual Wounded Warriors Project Soldier Ride, which starts Thursday in Rosemont.

The five-day event includes a 15-mile course through the village starting at the Rosemont Fire Station on River Road and ending at the Chicago Bandits fastpitch softball stadium at Balmoral Avenue and Pearl Street. The ride starts at 10 a.m. and ends at noon.

Order Reprint Print Article
 
Interested in reusing this article?
Custom reprints are a powerful and strategic way to share your article with customers, employees and prospects.
The YGS Group provides digital and printed reprint services for Daily Herald. Complete the form to the right and a reprint consultant will contact you to discuss how you can reuse this article.
Need more information about reprints? Visit our Reprints Section for more details.

Contact information ( * required )

Success - request sent close

On the following two days, cyclists will ride a 17-mile stadium tour from Wrigley Field down to U.S. Cellular Field, and 25 miles from the Chicago Fire House station 98 downtown all the way up north to a Highland Park fire station on Central Avenue.

"Over three days we're doing over 50 miles," said Shana Gibbs, logistics coordinator for the Wounded Warrior Project and Soldier Ride.

The entire ride, including the riders' transportation and hotel accommodations at Aloft in Rosemont, is funded by the Wounded Warrior Project through private donations. The nonprofit organization does not receive any funding from federal, state or local governments, Gibbs said.

The goal of the ride is to offer veterans a chance to engage with other wounded veterans while helping them "combat the physical, emotional and spiritual wounds of war," Gibbs said.

On Wednesday, the veterans were outfitted with custom adaptive hand cycles, trikes and bicycles, donated by Trek Bicycle for the event, and other gear, such as cycling shorts and jerseys, a Wounded Warrior Project polo shirt and a duffle bag.

"We adapt to any injury," Gibbs said. "We only go as fast as the slowest rider."

The emphasis on physical health and fitness is why Donna Pratt of Chicago has participated in the ride three times. After leaving active duty, Pratt said veterans often feel a sense of loss and isolation.

"Coming to an event is like having a team again," the 41-year-old said. "The ride is always challenging no matter how many times we take it."

An Army veteran who served in Iraq fixing weapons and supplying soldiers, Pratt suffered noncombat-related injuries. She had fractures in both feet, torn ligaments and tendons and developed nerve damage.

"Once you become injured, there's this stigma that you can't do anything," said Pratt, who rides a handcycle. Participating in the ride makes her feel like "no matter what injury you have, you can still accomplish something. It evens the playing ground for everybody."

The Soldier Ride is open to all 33,000 Wounded Warrior Project registered alumni. For more information, visit woundedwarriorproject.org.

Share this page
Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.