Wounded Warriors ride through Wisconsin - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Wounded Warriors ride through Wisconsin

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By Heather Sawaski - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MARATHON COUNTY (WAOW) -- If you dream it, you can do it. Wounded veterans from across the country are proving that saying true this week as they pedal their bikes across Wisconsin.

 

Retired army sergeant Nathan Hunt maneuvered his hand cycle bike down a Marathon County road Wednesday afternoon. Hunt lost both his legs in a roadside bomb attack in Iraq back in 2008.

"I was on a route clearance mission and got hit with an IED," he explained. "It took my legs from me, straight off the bat."

 

After multiple surgeries and months of rehab, the Texas native discovered "Ride 2 Recovery." It's a physical and mental bicycle program for injured veterans coming back from war.

"It's a really good thing because with cycling, we can adapt the bikes for them so it really gets them going," said program founder John Wordin.

 

For Hunt, it's made the impossible achievable. Two years and 5,300 miles later, he's in Ride 2 Recovery's "Great Lakes Challenge," joining 30 other wounded warriors in a 430 mile trek from Edina, Minnesota to Milwaukee.

"The more I ride," Hunt commented. "The stronger and faster I get. So I just keep riding."

 

The national program lets veterans shed their physical disabilities and hit the highway for the journey of a lifetime.

"A lot of times, these guys have been in the hospital for many months so they lose a lot of their physical strength," Wordin explained. "Also if you lose a leg, you don't know what you're life is going to be like. So if you can ride a bike, something you used to do as a kid, it gets you back on track."

 

Ride 2 Recovery bikers pedal different courses across the country spreading the message, anything is possible through perseverance.

"Even though the wounded warriors were hurt, we don't give up on life," Hunt said. "So why should anybody else?"

The group took off from Chippewa Falls Wednesday morning and rolled into Wausau around 2:00pm. It's a 95 mile trip. They hope to end up in Milwaukee on Saturday, but they are making a special stop in Green Bay at Thursday night's Packers game. The riders will be VIP's, by the tunnel when the team takes the field.

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