MINNEAPOLIS and ST. PAUL, Minn., Aug. 18, 2017 — Marine Corps veteran and wounded warrior Greg Padilla was on the last stretch of road before the last stop of the day when he opened up about his experiences on a bicycle over the last two days.
“There’s been a lot of bonding among everyone, but when you have that added element of being injured, you find yourself in one of two camps – you’re either isolated, or you’re not isolated,” Greg said. “A lot of the warriors here actually identified themselves as isolated. And this was an opportunity for them to speak with other veterans, engage with other veterans, and do something other than hiding within our homes.”
Greg, like the other wounded veterans riding with him, participated in a Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) Soldier Ride, a multi-day cycling event that challenges injured veterans to push themselves physically and mentally as they manage visible and invisible wounds of war. Just like in their military service, they don’t go alone and always finish together.
“This ride brings back that sense of unity and camaraderie that we get used to in the military,” Greg said. “It’s very therapeutic in the sense that you have someone who’s got shared experiences with you. There’s men and women that you don’t have to explain yourselves to, because they already understand you.”
Many others shared these feelings throughout the weekend, including Audra Edelen, an active duty Army reservist served by WWP.
“I had a goal for myself coming into this event: to meet new warriors,” she said. “A lot of the veterans in my community are Korea, Vietnam, and World War II veterans, so I don’t get a chance to really connect with people my own age, who also understand me. I can be a bit shy, so being here with other veterans has been a big deal for me.”
To read more, visit: http://newsroom.woundedwarriorproject.org/highlights?item=30650.
About Wounded Warrior Project
Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) connects, serves, and empowers wounded warriors. Read more at http://newsroom.woundedwarriorproject.org/about-us.
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SOURCE Wounded Warrior Project