MIAMI BEACH (CBS4- Hand cycle, trike and bicycle riders made their way to Miami Beach Thursday morning, and it was all in good spirit for a good cause.
The Soldier Ride, a Wounded Warrior initiative that helps wounded soldiers restore their physical and emotional well-being, headed out on a route beginning at Finnegan’s Way at 1344 Ocean Drive and south on Ocean Drive on to South Pointe Elementary School at 1050 4th Street.
Army Captain Jonathan Pruden, who was injured in 2003, was along with dozens of other injured soldiers are being honored for their bravery by the Wounded Warriors Project.
“I was in the initial invasion of Iraq and I was hit by an IED,” he told CBS4’s Vanessa Borge.
Pruden lives with a prosthetic leg, a sacrifice he was willing to make to continue the tradition of serving his country.
“My father served in Vietnam,” he said. “I have family that served back until the Revolutionary War and it was just an honor to serve my country.”
Pruden said the organization’s mission is to honor and help soldiers and their families as they return from combat.
Students at South Pointe Elementary School in Miami Beach lined up to cheer on the warriors as they make their annual soldier ride through south Florida.
“It’s very meaningful for them and for us to see that this is real life, its all happening,” student Neil Daiksea said.
With thousands of troops still serving overseas, it’s organizations like wounded warriors and community support that help soldiers returning from war.
“Know that America supports you and your family regardless of politics or what you hear…look around you here and you’ll see evidence of support, real support in communities in America,” Pruden said.
The route for the team continued towards West Avenue down the Venetian Causeway ending at the Veterans hospital in the City of Miami.
The Wounded Warrior Project is a program that not only provides rehabilitative opportunities for soldiers that have been severely wounded in combat but also raises public awareness.
The Soldier Ride continues until January 15th, as they’ll be riding all the way down to Key West.
For more information on the Wounded Warrior Project visit www.woundedwarriorproject.org