Soldier ride stops in Oconomowoc
Veterans from around the country ended their day at City Beach Thursday afternoon. The group is part of the Wounded Warrior Project's (WWP), Midwest Soldier Ride, a rehabilitative cycling event designed to help wounded soldiers heal both the physical and mental wounds of war. The rides are also used to raise awareness for WWP, which helps injured service members and provides programs to meet their needs. The group started its Thursday ride in Waterloo at the Trek Bicycle headquarters. Members cycled 40 miles to a welcome from a crowd of family and community members anticipating their arrival. Utility employees and veterans Craig Clemmensen, Mark Niggemeier, Andy Evans, Kevin Jezak and Erik Voneiff welcomed the riders with the stars and stripes hoisted above Wisconsin Avenue on a utility truck. "We are honored to have them visit our community," said Niggemeier. Iraq veteran Chad Watson and his wife Jillian of Chicago said they have enjoyed the ride and look forward to what's ahead. On Friday, the Soldier Ride will tour the Underwood Creek region around Wauwatosa passing through Honey Creek Parkway and Bluemound Heights along Bluemound Road before passing by Miller Park. And watch for them Friday night at Miller Park as they'll throw out the first pitch at the Brewers game and enjoy the game from the corporate suite. The ride will continue through Illinois Saturday and Sunday culminating their trek along Archer Avenue in Chicago to a reception hosted by the Chicago Firefighters Union at Sundown Meadow Park. "It makes me feel alive," Mark Mix of Ohio said of his experience so far on the ride. For more information on the ride and interactive route maps, visit sr.woundedwarriorproject.org.
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