Soldier Salute: Wounded Warriors ride through Keys

Soldier Salute: Wounded Warriors ride through Keys

Tearing up while talking about this important event, Wounded Warrior Key West organizer Cathy Crane said this means so much to her, so she knows it means a lot to the soldiers. The Wounded Warriors will be riding from Key Largo to Key West this weekend.

“Sometimes serving is an empty thank you,” said Crane, who was in the Army from 1995 to 2006 and served in Iraq. “This ride reminds us to be thankful and how lucky we are.”

In its sixth year, the ride was cut by a day due to budgeting, but is still important according to Crane, because it gives our soldiers an opportunity to see our paradise and be thanked by our community members.

“This isn’t just physically injured soldiers on the outside,” she said. “It’s also those who need help on the inside.”

Crane is urging the community to come out and see the ride through the community. See Side Bar for places and times. “When they see everyone on the side of the streets with American flags, waving and smiling, it’s good for the soul,” she said.

To donate to the ride, Crane said, a check can be given to the Key West Military Affairs Committee earmarked for the local ride, or at woundedwarriorproject.org by typing Key West in the search bar.

Dolphin Research Center welcomes Wounded Warriors

More than 30 Wounded Warrior veterans will enjoy swimming with the dolphins at Dolphin Research Center (DRC) on Sunday, courtesy of a donation by the Charles Evans Foundation for the Wounded Warriors. Members of the public are invited to join the DRC team to welcome the soldiers at 9 a.m. on Sunday on Grassy Key. Admission is free for members, and regular general admission prices for non-members.

According to DRC, these men and women are coping with life-altering injuries to body, mind and spirit, including amputations, burns, traumatic brain injury, and post-traumatic stress disorder.  “To watch them leave their troubles behind on land for a joyful time swimming with dolphins inspires all who see the experience,” said Mary Stella of DRC. “For many of the participants, the dolphin swim further empowers them as they courageously battle the physical and psychological damages of war.”

Cheer on the Soldiers – Here’s where:

 Friday, Jan. 6

VFW Upper Keys Post 10211 at 8:30 a.m.

Cheer stop at Coral Shores High School at 9:30 a.m.

84001 Overseas Hwy, Islamorada at 10:30 a.m.

Marathon Fire Station at 12:15 p.m.

Seven Mile Bridge at 1:15 p.m.

 Saturday, Jan. 7

Boca Chica to Bayview Park, Key West, from 10:30 to 11:45 a.m.

 *VFW Post 3911 on North Roosevelt would be a nice place to cheer them on

Wounded Warrior welcome at noon at Vietnam Living Memorial, Bayview Park, all welcome.

Three Mile Community Ride at 12:45, $20 donation, from Bayview Park to Harry S. Truman Little White House

 Sunday, Jan. 8

Dolphin Research Center, Grassy Key, at 9 a.m.

Key West Route

0106-soldier-all-kw-route 

The Wounded Warriors will be taking this route through Key West from 10:30 to 11:45 a.m. on Saturday before settling at Bayview Park for the welcome ceremonies. The community is urged to come out and pay tribute to their arrival.

 KRISTEN LIVENGOOD/Keys Weekly

This veteran is gearing up for the community ride throughout Key West from the Truman Waterfront in 2014. This year, the welcome ceremonies will be held at the Vietnam Living Memorial at Bayview Park with the three-mile community ride following shortly afterward for a $20 donation.

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