More than 70 veterans with The Wounded Warrior Project will visit the White House this week to be honored during an annual ceremony hosted by President Donald Trump, as part of the ongoing festivities surrounding Soldier Ride.
Soldier Ride is a four-day adaptive cycling program that takes place each year in Washington DC. Wounded veterans are each tasked with riding 25 or more miles, using either traditional bicycles or state-of-the-art adaptive hand cycles, trikes, or other forms of high-tech cycles.
The idea behind Soldier Ride is to push wounded veterans past their comfort zones in a rigorous physical challenge that proves to participants just how strong they truly are. It’s an event focused on the abilities of the participants, rather than their disabilities.
Brothers Erik and Deven Schei will be just two of the many veterans participating in Soldier Ride this week. The Schei brothers were both wounded in Iraq; Erik sustained a traumatic head injury from a sniper attack in 2005, and Deven was physically and mentally wounded when his squad was ambushed in 2008.
The Schei brothers would eventually begin participating in the Wounded Warrior Project’s Soldier Ride as a team, with Deven peddling while Erik rides behind him as his “co-pilot.”
Soldier Ride Ceremony Has Been a White House Tradition for More Than a Decade
“I am honored to host these wounded warriors who have made profound sacrifices to keep our people safe and our democracy secure,” said President Trump via a recent press release. “For more than a decade, the White House has proudly celebrated the Soldier Ride, where patients from military hospitals connect with local wounded veterans, building support systems to help veterans manage the visible and invisible wounds of war. These brave individuals don’t ride alone on this mission. They move forward together, as a unit, just like they did during their military service, and I applaud and admire their resilience and solidarity.”
“We are truly honored to celebrate our warriors and all that they have overcome at the White House,” said Wounded Warrior Project CEO Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Mike Linnington. “This annual tradition sends a powerful message about the military-veteran support community and our nation’s commitment to warriors and their families. Since our inception, WWP has invested $1.3 billion in programs and we are on pace to spend nearly $200 million in 2018. This continued investment reflects our commitment to connect, serve, and empower warriors and build on the successes of the last fifteen years of direct services and transformative programs.”