The chance to honor those that nobly serve our country, by riding alongside them in solidarity, will take place when the 2019 Soldier Ride® Hamptons returns on Saturday, July 20.
“The reason this cause is important to me and many of us on the East End is pretty simple. I myself never served, but I have seen first hand the heavy sacrifice paid by the men and woman who have,” Nick Kraus, Soldier Ride Founder, shared. “Lucky to return home, but carrying the wounds of war home with them. Sometimes invisible to us with our eyes. But the price is high and we are lucky they have fought to keep our freedoms and way of life in place.”
Soldier Ride®, a benefit for the Wounded Warrior Project®, will begin at 7 a.m. with the opening of registration at Amgansett Farm. An Opening Ceremony at Amagansett Farm will take place at 8:30 a.m., and at 9 a.m., participants will embark on their 25-mile scenic ride that will include spectacular beach, water, and farmland views. The Lap of Heroes will travel through Marine Park in Sag Harbor at 11 a.m. and then there will be a Post-Ride Community picnic back at Amagansett Farm.
“It’s always great to be part of this ride. I’ve been fortunate to be able to participate in these events across the country for the last 16 years, but to be here in our own town. Working with friends and people that I didn’t know that I now call my friends on such a great event is really special,” Kraus shared. “There is a certain satisfaction in seeing the difference in a wounded veteran from when they first arrive. Uncertain for what they signed up for. In a new environment. Maybe still even recovering in Walter Reed and only out for the weekend to ride with us. Seeing them come out of their shell by the end of the ride. Making new friends. Realizing they can still do things they doubted that they could still do. It’s more than riding a bike. It’s often a game changer.”
The registration fee is $50 for adults, and $25 for children 12-years-old and under.
“We got involved with this originally as a fundraiser for a Wounded Warrior we held at the Stephen Talkhouse and Chris Carney suggested that he ride across the country to raise awareness. Thus began Soldier Ride,” Kraus explained. “Tens of thousands of Wounded Warriors around the world have since participated. Check out Welcome to Soldier Ride the movie about how it started for free on Amazon.”
WWP’s mission is to “honor and empower Wounded Warriors.” The nonprofit 501 organization does so by offering an array of programs and services that “transforms the way America’s injured veterans are empowered, employed, and engaged in our communities.”
Soldier Ride will take place at 551 Montauk Highway in Amagansett. For more information, visit woundedwarriorproject.org.