Wounded warriors bike 20 miles Thursday in South Florida

Soldier Ride part of Wounded Warrior Project

MIAMI – A special Wounded Warrior Project bike ride took place Thursday in Miami to help injured veterans.

"I wasn't really expecting to come back," U.S. Army veteran James Smith said. "Hopefully they see the sacrifice that it takes to make America free."

Smith was an Army specialist when he was seriously wounded in Iraq in 2005.

"To see him here today with the other warriors, it's absolutely what we've been working for the last 12 years together," Jennifer Mackinday, who showed support for her brother Thursday, said.  

The Soldier Ride is part of the Wounded Warrior Project, but the soldiers' sisters were also welcome at the event. 

"If these guys who lost their legs to an IED can come out in 45 degrees and ride a bike for 20 miles, I can get up and go live my best life today too," Mackinday said. 

The Soldier Ride was also Miami-Dade police Maj. Ricky Carter's first ride after he lost his legs in a motorcycle accident last May.

"My accident was very traumatic," Carter said. "It really put me in a lot of dark places, but seeing the resiliency and the fight back that each one them have, inspires me and motivates me and makes me want to get back.

"Nothing's more important to me than being a police officer for Miami-Dade County and serving my community."

Smith said the Wounded Warrior Project has helped rebuild his spirit and made him happier.

"I'm glad I'm here," he said. 

Click here to learn more about the Wounded Warrior Project and how you can get involved.

About the Author: