Wounded veterans take part in "Soldier Ride" event

- Dozens of injured service men and women from in the valley and across the country are preparing to ride towards healing and recovery.

The Wounded Warrior Project's "Soldier Ride" is happening this weekend, and veterans were fitted Thursday for their special rides.

Technicians commissioned by the WWP began their special assignment early Thursday morning.

"We have a full team of bike technicians out here, they are the best in the business in terms of modifying the bikes to meet whatever the warriors need," said Paul Loisel.

Loisel says this weekend's ride through the valley is the final of 31 soldier rides that took place this year. The non-profit veteran service organization provides injured, ill, or wounded soldiers with an opportunity to ake part in a 4-day adaptive cycling event.

"Deployed to Afghanistan where me and three of my best friends were ambushed outside," said US Army Sergeant Deven Schei.

Warriors like Sgt. Schei were wounded in Afghanistan in 2010, and are participating in the 5th soldier ride with his brother, a veteran who survived being shot in the head.

"I hit a breaking point to where I was thinking about suicide quite a bit, I just couldn't take it anymore, I ended up reaching out to the WWP where they invited me to the soldier ride here in Phoenix, Arizona," said Schei.

Both the organizers and the participants agree the soldier ride has a two-fold purpose.

"A lot of times the mental aspects are better than the physical aspects, for a lot of these people it's the first time engaging and getting out of the house since their injury. It saves 1,000 lives per year," said Loisel.

The comradery, the sense of accomplishment, the cycle is a perfect fit for them.

Online: http://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/

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