LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- For some, it may be a tough haul, but a 16-mile bike ride doesn’t compare to the journey nearly 40 soldiers already soldiered through.
“We understand where each other are coming from and it’s something we don’t get from someone who may not have experienced the same things that we’ve experienced as a group," Perry Cooke said.
He's is taking part in his second soldier ride and first in Louisville. He says it gets him off the couch and into shape. For the riders, the challenge goes far beyond their physical limits. They are also managing their mental strength - the invisible wounds of war.
“As we talked about it, we all kind of realized we can get out and we can be active and we can have fun. That’s what helped me - to get that inspiration again," Cooke said.
The soldier ride may be new to Kentucky, but similar ones have been held in New York, DC and Chicago. It’s an adapted cycling program for veterans where, for once a month, a different city salutes their service. “It’s hard to reintegrate into the civilian world. So, this gets everybody together with a like group of people. Just pushes them to do something as a group," said Operations Specialist Kristin Henry.
It’s not considered a race, but a ride with a sense of accomplishment. At least in this moment, the heroes are in the driver seat - not on the front lines, but on the home front.
For more information about the Soldier Ride, click here. https://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/programs/soldier-ride