CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) – Injured service members took on a new challenge on Thursday, a three-day multi-city bike ride from Charleston to Myrtle Beach.
The annual Warrior Ride gives injured service members a chance to rehabilitate and dedicate themselves to an active lifestyle.
With each pedal forward, the wounded warriors are greeted with cheers on their way to The Citadel.
Nearby, cadets stand at attention, saluting the men and women who pass.
"They've given some tremendous sacrifices for our country and the cadets look up to them," said Lt. Gen. John Rosa, The Citadel's president. "Eighteen of our alumni have given the ultimate sacrifice on the war and terror--so they have a relationship with the school."
The Warrior Ride was founded in 2007 by Vietnam veteran Bob Racine. The three-day ride serves as a form of rehab for these former members of the military.
"It gives them a chance to build this new friendship and it helps them redefine some of their skills that they probably thought they've lost," Racine said.
These brave men and women share a common bond -- a love for their country and willingness to risk it all in the name of freedom.
"I have several people with us today that when they came on a ride, they didn't walk. They didn't talk. And now we've got them walking, talking skiing, kayaking," Racine said.
The day ended with a special event in their honor with Rosa presenting them with pins that symbolize their gratitude.
"For many of these young people, it's exactly the reason they came here, take the road less traveled, living in a challenging disciplinary environment. And that's what these people represent," Rosa said.
From the Citadel, these wounded warriors continued their journey, building friendships along the way as strangers shower them with appreciation.
The trip starts again Friday at the Holiday Express in Moncks Corner and end at Valor Park in Myrtle Beach.