WASHINGTON – Two days. 110 miles. A better understanding of people with disabilities and a better understanding of the sacrifices of America’s wounded warriors.
During the annual Face of America Ride, about 500 participants – including about 80 wounded warriors – climbed on their bicycles, hand cycles and recumbents and pedaled from the Pentagon to the battlefields of Gettysburg.
Van Brinson is the director of the bike ride. He said the group headed out Saturday morning and arrived at about 1:30 Sunday afternoon in Gettysburg.
Participants included both active and retired military and civilians who rode alongside their counter-parts, the wounded warriors.
“In all of our events we combine abled body with people with disabilities,” Brinson said. “They all work together as a team to achieve a common goal.”
He said what happens as a result of the ride is amazing. The people with disabilities gain greater confidence. For those without disabilities, he said it shifts their ideas about disabilities.
“It really changes their perceptions of how they look at someone with a disability and what their idea of what that person can accomplish is,” he said.
Brinson said the ride helps people understand that freedom comes with a price. The ride also shows what disabled people can do, instead of their limitations.
Brinson is also the chief operations officer with T.E.A.M Sports. The non-profit organization organizes events for the disabled and wounded warriors, including this ride.