Soldier Ride

by Airman 1st Class Jordan Castelan
86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

A wounded warrior ride comprised of riders from seven different countries raced around Bostalsee, Germany, Aug. 10 to raise awareness and lift spirits.

Wounded warrior riders completed a 14-mile ride around the Bostalsee lake, completing a third day of biking around the German countryside. Riders were welcomed to a finish lane lined with welcome signs and a cheering crowd.

“It all started in Long Island when Chris Carney decided to do a cross-country ride to raise money and awareness for wounded warriors,” said Bruce Nitsche, executive vice president Wounded Warrior Project. “The program is here to not only restore physical wellness but mental and emotional strength as well.”

The wounded warriors spent three days strengthening their bodies and minds around the German countryside.

“Soldier Ride is not just about the cycling,” said participant Andrew Kinard. “It’s about getting to know each other and sharing time together to develop camaraderie as injured and wounded service members.”

Kinard has been living with his injury for seven years and has reached a point where he would like to aid in the recovery of others in the community.

“The ride means different things to warriors depending on their stage of recovery,” said Kinard. “For me, I’ve been injured for almost seven years, and this is a chance to fulfill a mentor role for a lot of the warriors who haven’t been injured as long or are beginning in their recovery.”

Recovery is a keystone principal at these events, Nitsche said.

“I remember this very clearly, my first soldier ride, my first time on a hand cycle, being nervous and not knowing how the gears worked,” said Kindard. “It wasn’t until some of the guys older in their injuries showed me the ropes. For many of the newly injured participants it really is about finding out you can do this and it is surprisingly fun.”

To get in contact with the Wounded Warrior Project to participate, volunteer or become an alumni visit their website at