FORT BRAGG, N.C. - For the second year in a row, Special Operations Recruiting Battalion will support the Wounded Warrior Project with a bike ride across Fort Bragg.

On Oct. 8, the 2009 ride will kick off the WWP Soldier Ride, Carolinas. The opening ceremony for the 20-mile ride, which will start and end at Wilson Park on Butner Road, will begin at 9 a.m.

Preparation for the WWP ride will begin Wednesday at the Hampton Inn by Cross Creek Mall in Fayetteville, where the Wounded Warriors will receive their bike apparel, equipment and bicycles, which will be custom-fitted to each Soldier. Soldiers from several organizations on Fort Bragg will be participating in the five-day event. In addition to Fort Bragg, Soldiers will travel each day by bus to a new location to include Raleigh, Greensboro and Charlotte, where they will meet community leaders and supporters as they ride 25 to 50 miles as part of their continuing rehabilitation program.

The event is part of a national tour that first took place in 2004 when Chris Carney, a physical trainer from New York, rode from New York City to Monterey, Calif., to raise money for the Wounded Warrior Project.

The rehabilitation program is specifically designed for wounded warriors - many of whom have been physically active throughout their lives.

For these combat-wounded veterans, Soldier Ride provides the first steps in the return to an active lifestyle. Additionally, the rides help to raise awareness for the WWP and the many programs designed to assist wounded servicemembers, this according to the Wounded Warrior Project Web site.

Woody Groton, national director for the Soldier Ride program, is a former member of the 82nd Airborne Division who participated in Operation Fury, the rescue mission to Grenada.

"The vision of the Wounded Warrior Project is simple, we will honor and empower wounded warriors and Soldier Ride really embodies that sentiment. The people who come out to support these riders honor them and their participation in this ride will help the wounded warriors get back to where they were prior to receiving their injuries," Groton said.

Groton added that he is thrilled to be able to have the first leg of the Soldier Ride take place on Fort Bragg, the home of Special Operations Command, the XVIII Airborne Corps and the 82nd Airborne Division.

The 20-mile ride will take the cyclists past each of the major commands on Fort Bragg.

There are two scheduled rest stops. The first stop will be at the South Post Exchange at about 10:15 a.m., and the second stop will be at the Special Operations Recruiting Battalion located at Zabitosky and Ardennes streets at about 11:30 a.m. The riders will also briefly stop at the XVIII Airborne Corps headquarters parking lot where military and civilian members of the staff and their Families will greet them.

"Our wounded warriors and their Families demonstrate remarkable courage every day. It's truly awe-inspiring," said Col. Billy J. Buckner, public affairs officer for the XVIII Airborne Corps. "We look forward to cheering them on and encourage Families and friends to do the same as the riders make their way through the course around Fort Bragg."

The Special Operations Recruiting Battalion is proud to support the Wounded Warrior Project as a reminder of the special operations forces truth that humans are more important than hardware.

If you would like to donate to the WWP, please select CFC #11425.