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Weathering the storms: Wounded Warriors roll across rainy South Plains, endure conditions on coast-to-coast journey

Lubbock Avalanche-Journal - 9/27/2018

Sept. 27--Veterans who have traded their combat helmets for bikers' helmets are stopping in Lubbock before the next squad takes over as part of a cross-country Wounded Warrior road trip to bring attention to the reality that veterans pay dearly for freedom.

There are a variety of cycles in use on a trip that began 20 days ago in New York City and is destined for San Diego, according to Vesta M. Anderson, who handles public relations for the Wounded Warrior Project.

"Their spirits are rekindled every time they go into a new city," she said. "It's a commemorative ride, really. They are hoping that by being able to ride those bikes, not only will they be bringing awareness to veterans issues, but they will motivate those other veterans at home who haven't taken that first step toward recovery."

On Wednesday, a group of about a dozen Wounded Warrior cyclists rolled out from Seymour, traveling west through rain up the Caprock before staying overnight in Lubbock. On Thursday, a team of riders is planning to finish the last leg of the journey to the West Coast.

Some of their manual-power vehicles have four wheels for riders who use their hands to supply power for the wheels, and others are conventional bikes with two wheels pedaled by veterans with legs that still operate.

Anderson said the next set of riders will be cheered at the start by the present riders in a kind of baton hand-off.

She said of weather that is changing schedules, "We were afraid that Hurricane Florence was going to hinder some of the riders, but the warriors were able to stay in front of it."

The riders want to show the public -- and themselves -- that with support and motivation, much is possible.

It is also meant to inspire a nation with their strength and courage.


(c)2018 the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal (Lubbock, Texas)

Visit the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal (Lubbock, Texas) at www.lubbockonline.com

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