• Veterans travel to Jacksonville for Wounded Warrior Project's Soldier Ride

    By: Alicia Tarancon , Action News Jax


    Veterans will be pedaling through our area Friday and Saturday as part of the Wounded Warrior Project’s Soldier Ride.

    Retired Army Sgt.1st Class Brande Theiss has served in the military for 22 years and is stationed at Fort Bragg in North Carolina with her husband.

    This week she came down to Jacksonville to be part of the ride. It’s something she didn’t think she would ever do.

    “Never, all the exercising and everything I did was when I was still in the military and all the bikes were stationary,” said Theiss.

    Thursday she joined other warriors as they got fitted for their two-day rides.

    The Wounded Warrior Project brought over dozens of different types of bikes from hybrid to road, recumbent and more to accommodate the injuries that the wounded warrior may have.

    “I’m going to be fitted with a hybrid bicycle so that it’s more upright and it doesn’t affect my injuries more to my back so it’s going to be a little bit more comfortable,” said Theiss.

    Thomas Burke served in the U.S. Air Force for five years and he made the drive from Ocala.

    He says the Wounded Warrior Project has been a big part of his life for the last three years and he didn’t want to miss this ride.

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    “Just being there is what’s been the biggest help for me, I know I always have somebody to reach out to if I really needed it,” said Burke.

    Theiss tells Action News Jax some of the injuries these warriors have are ones you can’t see. 

    “There is something about exercising and being out and again being a part of a team and I think that is really uplifting to the spirit as well as mental,” she said.

    On Friday the warriors will leave from the Wounded Warrior headquarters at 9 a.m. on Belfort Road. 

    A ceremony for them will begin at 9 a.m. with music, posting of the colors and the national anthem.

    Saturday they’ll be in St. Augustine.


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