On September 25 and 26, Wounded Warrior Project's (WWP) Soldier Ride will visit Nashville, Tennessee. Soldier Ride, which debuted in 2004, is Wounded Warrior Project’s rehabilitative cycling program for wounded warriors.
The segmented rides raise public awareness for those that have been injured while fighting overseas. All participants are provided with the adaptive equipment they need to cycle regardless of their disabilities.
The festivities kick off on Friday, Sept. 25 at 7 p.m. with a “Southern Shindig” music event at the Loveless Barn (www.lovelessbarn.com). Country music superstar Trace Adkins will perform a special acoustic set. Mr. Adkins has previously donated proceeds from the downloads of his song “Til The Last Shot’s Fired” as part of a performance at this year’s Academy of Country Music Awards. Radio personality Bob Kingsley will serve as Master of Ceremonies. Tickets are available at www.southernshindig.org.
Other highlights include a performance by wounded warrior Sal Gonzalez, who was injured in Iraq in 2004 resulting in the amputation of his left leg. Tickets are on sale now and include dinner, beer and wine and entertainment. All proceeds will benefit the Wounded Warrior Project.
On Sat., Sept. 26, the ride will begin with an opening ceremony at Edwin Warner Park. Local residents can register online for this special bicycle ride through Nashville. To learn more, purchase tickets or register, go to: www.southernshindig.org. Soldier Ride Nashville is being held in honor of Army Master Sergeant James “Tre” Ponder of Franklin, who was killed in action in Afghanistan on June 28, 2005.
Wounded warrior Heath Calhoun, who participated in the first ever Soldier Ride, then a coast to coast event, currently lives in Clarksville and is available for interviews.
“Soldier Ride was a life-changing experience for me,” said Calhoun, who lost both of his legs while fighting in Iraq. “The healing power involved with pushing your broken body to the limit is not easily put into words.”
Wounded Warrior Project also offers services and programs like careers and benefits counseling, advocacy initiatives and post-traumatic stress seminars to ensure that this is the most successful and well-adjusted generation of veterans in our nation’s history.