MIAMI (WSVN) - Dozens of veterans participated in a special ride to help those who were injured in the line of duty.
The annual event was canceled in 2021, but the important form of support for the soldiers made a comeback on Thursday.
More than 40 retired U.S. veterans have finished the first leg of the Wounded Warrior Project Soldier Ride.
They were cheered on as they cycled into Marlins Stadium, Thursday morning.
7News caught up with several veterans who spoke about what this day meant to them.
For many veterans, the injuries aren’t visible.
“Here I’m blessed because I’ve got all my limbs,” said retired Army veteran Kurt Woods. “Each and every one of us has our own story,” said Woods.
Even without explanation, there’s a sense of that.
“With my issues it makes me realize I’m not alone,” said Woods.
“We have warriors that come here sometimes that are on the verge of suicide,” said Wounded Warrior Project Ride Manager Bill Hayes.
Many of them said it’s hard to express how impactful this ride is, especially after a hiatus last year because of the pandemic.
Many leave reminded that they are still a part of something bigger than themselves.
“Those ideations completely change, and seeing that transition is one of the most incredible emotional things you could ever experience, so I’m proud,” said Hayes.
For so many veterans, their wounds aren’t necessarily visible, so knowing that the community sees them and values them is a game-changer.
7SkyForce captured all of that support — the high fives, the people on the sidelines cheering them on and the proud faces.
The ride started in Miami Beach on Ocean Drive and continued for 10 miles to Marlins Stadium.
“So a ride like this is enjoying and help other warriors that don’t have the physical capabilities, so I’m in the back helping them and encouraging them to move forward,” said Retired Army Veteran Edwardo Falu.
“It’s very very touching to be riding down the street, you know. Seeing all the flags and everybody’s coming out. It’s really something,” said Retired U.S. Air Force Veteran Karen Brun.
There’s still 50 more miles to go in the 60-mile trek.
Over the next two days, the group will head to Key West.
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