Soldier Ride for Wounded Warriors helping heal through cycling

2-day event being held in San Diego

SAN DIEGO - Like so many others, Marine Sgt. Eric DeLion came back from Afghanistan carrying baggage he didn't go over there with.  

"I was at rock bottom; I felt there was no hope, nothing left to live for," DeLion said.

A traumatic brain injury from an improvised explosive device and post traumatic stress left DeLion isolated and suffering in silence until someone from the Wounded Warrior Project suggested he take part in Soldier Ride.

"I was hesitant, I thought, 'Nah, not for me,'" said DeLion.

But he came and the minute he started meeting other veterans going through the same thing, he felt he belonged.

That's the aim of Soldier Ride, to promote physical, as well as mental, healing through cycling.  

"The mental wounds are the most damaging in a lot of ways, but they come out of here changed," said Julie Valentour with the Wounded Warrior Project.  

Soldier Ride began in 2004 when Chris Chaney, a New Yorker who wanted to do something more than just say we support our troops, rode from the East Coast to Mission Bay in San Diego to make his point.

Since then, Soldier Ride has expanded throughout the country and Europe.  

Soldier Ride is how former Navy Lt. Cmdr. Steven Peace, who was half-paralyzed from a stroke, first became interested in cycling.

"This is the 13th year I've been doing this and it feels as great as the first," said Peace, who now competes in the Paralympics.  

The two-day Soldier Ride concludes Saturday with a ride starting at 9 a.m. from Buccaneer Park in Oceanside.

For more information on the Soldier Ride, click here.

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