For the last twelve years, Soldier Ride D.C. with Wounded Warrior Project has taken wounded veterans out on the road with custom-fitted bikes.
"It's a program that helps wounded warriors engage the general public and also give the general public the opportunity to meet some of our warriors," said wounded warrior John Fernandez. "People line the streets, there are fire trucks holding giant American flags — we get them out there on cycles to interact with the community and each other."
Fernandez has been involved with Wounded Warrior Project since its beginnings after losing both of his legs below the knee in Iraq in 2003.
"Where I'm from there aren't necessarily a lot of veterans, and if there are they might not have sustained the types of injuries I have," Fernandez said. "This gives me an opportunity to meet with other wounded warriors who have similar experiences to mine."
This year, 29 wounded warriors completed a 30-mile ride through Maryland and Virginia.
"You can see the relief on some of their faces," said Joe Plenzler, Wounded Warrior Project director of communications. "Being able to get out of the hospital and onto the road yesterday."
"I don't always get to meet people like me. And the American public doesn't always get to show service members this type of appreciation," said Fernandez. "We get to do that through Soldier Ride."