MIAMI (CBS4) – More than two dozen injured veterans received a ceremonial sendoff at Miami International Airport Wednesday.

Bagpipes played and an honor guard stood at attention as the veterans boarded the plane to Paris to join more than 100 other veterans from across the country.

The veterans will tour World War II sites and many will participate in a bike ride along part of the route of the Tour de France.

Duane Wagner, who lost both his legs in Vietnam, says he doesn’t let his disability slow him down.  He’s an avid bicyclist.

“I’ve won every race I’ve ever been in except two,” Wagner said. “Those two races I quit.  It doesn’t take anything to quit. It takes courage to keep on going.”

Wagner says younger veterans can learn a lot from the older generation. He wants to teach them.

“Life goes on.  Just do it. That’s it. Just do it.”

Handshakes and applause greeted each veteran who boarded the plane and fire trucks provided a water cannon salute before takeoff.

Four organizations partnered to make the trip possible. American Airlines, Air Compassion for Veterans, United Healthcare and Ride 2 Recovery.


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