Last Friday, as the Wounded Warrior Project Soldier Ride passed through the Middle Keys, those lucky enough to witness the annual stop at the Dolphin Research Center on Grassy Key received a true gift.

This annual event during which soldiers injured in combat bicycle through portions of the Florida Keys is a patriotic, heart-warming experience in itself. But veteran Mandy Rodriguez and his staff at DRC anxiously awaited the soldiers’ arrival this year for their group dolphin swim.

After taking a dip, the soldiers were then escorted to a ceremony at the Marathon DAV before they got back on their bikes for the 7 Mile Bridge portion of the ride.

For more information about the Wounded Warrior Project that provides services and programs to severely injured during active duty and in transition to civilian life, visit


Celie and Rita
Celie Florence, Chairperson of the DRC Board of Directors and Rita Irwin, President/CEO of DRC waited with staff and friends to greet the Wounded Warrior Project Soldier Ride last week during their trek through the Middle Keys.




Kelly Jayne
Dolphin trainer Kelly Jayne Rodriguez briefed soldiers on proper dolphin interactions before they submerged into the DRC lagoon.




DRC staffer Ryan Bliss helped severely injured soldiers during their dolphin swim last Friday.



The staff, friends and guests at Dolphin Research Center on Grassy Key provided a heart-warming ovation for the Wounded Warrior Project Soldier Ride last week.




Dolphin Ride
A handful of soldiers swam to the center of the lagoon to hitch a ride aboard a couple of strong dolphin fins.



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