Soldier Ride Germany: Local community joins wounded warriors from U.S. Army in Europe and coalition forces in ride

August 5, 2012

By Staff Sgt. Brooks Fletcher, U.S. Army Europe Public Affairs

Keeping heroes active

Romanian Army Bilateral amputee 1st Sgt. Vasile Zbanca and amputee 1st Sgt. Valerica Slaniceanu pose for a photo while cruising downhill during the 14-mile community ride at Bostalsee, Germany, Aug. 4. The ride was the culmination of the 4-day Wounded Warrior Project-hosted Soldier Ride Germany held in Oberhambach. The event allows the warriors the opportunity to continue to rebuild their confidence and strength in a supportive environment. (Photo by U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Brooks Fletcher, U.S. Army Europe Public Affairs)

NOHFELDEN, Germany-- Soldiers, Family members, civilian employees and other military community members volunteered, rode, cheered and supported approximately 50 wounded warriors from the U.S., Germany, Romania, Norway, Poland, the U.K., Estonia and Latvia during Soldier Ride Germany community ride at Bostalsee, Germany Aug. 4.

“Our focus is to let the community know about the [Wounded Warrior Project] and the presence that wounded warriors have in Germany, whether they are American Soldiers or from coalition forces,” said Angela Hemmen, team leader for WWP’s Soldier Ride Texas. “The community can see who these warriors are, what they are doing and how much they accomplished, not just this week, but during their recovery in general. The [community ride] is a way to celebrate that and say thank you!”

Like last year’s ride was the first European Soldier Ride sponsored by the WWP. Like last year’s, this ride is the culmination of the 4-day WWP-hosted event held in Oberhambach. The event allows wounded warriors the opportunity to continue to rebuild their confidence and strength in a supportive environment.

“I have learned over the last two years, being here in Europe, the significant contribution that the Wounded Warrior Project makes to all the warriors,” said U.S. Army Europe Commanding General, Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling. “The logo of a warrior carrying another, we have all been through that. All of us have been where someone has carried us. I think what you will see today is a culmination of three days of riding and that the warriors are now prepared to carry others.”

The community ride also provides the wounded warriors the opportunity to promote their positive message of recovery while encouraging community members to ride alongside, support from the route sidelines or volunteer to assist with the event.

“I think Germany has raised the standard for what we want Soldier ride to be. The partnership between the military commands and the WWP is incredible,” said Hemmen on the unique relationship between the two organizations. “With the support of both the military and local communities, we have exceeded our expectation.”

For more photos on this year’s Soldier Ride Germany, visit the U.S. Army Europe Flickr page.

About us: U.S. Army Europe is uniquely positioned to advance American strategic interests across Eurasia and has unparalleled capability to prevent conflict, shape the environment and, if necessary, win decisively. The relationships we build during more than 1000 theater security cooperation events in more than 40 countries each year lead directly to support for multinational contingency operations around the world, strengthen regional partnerships, and enhance global security.