Biden honors Wounded Warriors at Soldier Ride ceremony

President Joe Biden paid tribute Thursday morning to the nearly 100 cyclists participating in the Wounded Warrior Project’s annual Soldier Ride.


What You Need To Know

  • President Joe Biden paid tribute Thursday morning to the nearly 100 cyclists participating in the Wounded Warrior Project’s annual Soldier Ride
  • The four-day adaptive cycling event aims to help wounded service members build confidence and strength
  • Biden called the wounded troops “the best America has to offer”
  • Earlier in the ceremony, Danielle Green, a retired Army corporal who served as a military police officer, told her story of losing her left arm in Iraq in 2004 when she was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade

The four-day adaptive cycling event aims to help wounded service members build confidence and strength. This year, there are 77 active-duty riders and 21 veterans participating, Biden said.

In a ceremony in light rain on the White House’s South Lawn, Biden said the challenges service members face after their injuries are sometimes more difficult than the wars they fought in. 

“Learning to walk again, to pick up your child again, to manage the effects of traumatic brain injury, to cope with post-traumatic stress that occurs, and it’s not unusual,” the president said.

Biden called the wounded troops “the best America has to offer.”

“You embody the soul and the spirit of the nation,” he said. “As I like to say, you’re the very spine of America.”

More than two dozen veteran and active-duty service members rode two laps around the South Lawn in a tradition that President George W. Bush started in 2008.

Earlier in the ceremony, Danielle Green, a retired Army corporal who served as a military police officer, told her story of losing her left arm in Iraq in 2004 when she was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade. 

“I thought I was going to die, but, as I lay there, I decided to say a prayer,” said Green, a former University of Notre Dame basketball player. “I said, ‘Please give me the strength to tell my story, and I want a child. And today my son, Daniel was seven years old.”

Green said after several months of therapy, she returned to her hometown of Chicago and found herself “slipping into a hole.” The Wounded Warrior Project then invited her to participate in Soldier Ride Chicago. 

“They understood the need to stay connected and engaged,” she said. “They also understood that relationship between mental health and physical activity. They partnered with a local bike shop to build me an adapted bike. They trained me on how to ride with confidence. Of course, I failed several times, but someone was always by my side to help cheer me on.”

Also at the ceremony were the warriors’ family members and caregivers. First lady Jill Biden lauded children who were thrust into caregiver roles.

“Many kids your age have no idea what it’s like to change a bandage or help a family member take their medication,” she said. “You see the cost of our wars up close in your own life. And while I know that you are so proud of your wounded warrior and all of your family service, there are also times when it’s hard to feel different, or feel brave. You are strong for your family, and it’s our job to be strong for you.”

Last year, the Biden administration partnered with the Elizabeth Dole Foundation and Wounded Warrior Project to launch Hidden Helpers, an initiative to help support and bring awareness to the 2.3 million children of wounded, ill or injured service members or veterans.

Vice President Kamala Harris and second gentleman Doug Emhoff also attended the ceremony.


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