From the Boston Herald: Former Army Spec. Steven Bohn will join 50 of his fellow veterans this week on a three-day ride with the Wounded Warrior Project, a day he’s looked forward to for a whole year.
“That camaraderie is so powerful,” Bohn said.
For the past decade, the Wounded Warrior Project has organized Soldier Rides across the nation. This year they’ve done 19 rides. According to event manager Meghan Speicher-Harris, the rides bring together veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with shared experiences and empower them through events, workshops and programs, while helping them adapt to civilian life with injuries.
“We’re giving them the tools to create their new normal,” Speicher-Harris said.
For Bohn, 27, his new normal started in November 2008 when a suicide bomber behind the wheel of a dump truck filled with high explosives drove into his outpost while he was sleeping. The only thing he remembers is his fellow soldiers pulling him from the collapsed building. He was taken to a hospital in Germany and then later flown back to the United States for rehabilitation.
He’s had reconstructive surgery of his bladder, and suffered a lower back injury. He still has use of his legs, but spasms and nerve damage make moving his legs challenging at times.
It’s been a long road, and there were times Bohn didn’t want to go on, but he’s found a community with the Wounded Warrior Project that understands his struggles.
“I am forever in their debt,” he said.
On Wednesday, he’ll be fitted to a hand cycle that he’ll use during the three days of rides starting Thursday in Falmouth that culminate with a community ride Saturday in Concord. The event has raised $90,000 so far, and the money raised will go to support the programs of the organization.
As arms begin to weaken, and legs begin to cramp, the soldiers look to each other for encouragement to go on, Bohn said.
“It’s unreal to watch,” said Speicher-Harris of the interactions between the soldiers, “It’s unreal to watch.”
For more information on how to participate and donate, go to wounded warriorproject.org/ programs/soldier-ride/com munity-rides/boston.aspx.
Read more from the Boston Hearld