Wounded Warrior Project's Soldier Ride
U-HAUL® is a staunch supporter of the Wounded Warrior Project and, since 2005, has sponsored one of their main programs, Soldier Ride, which is a rehabilitative cycling program for wounded war riors. For many combat veterans, Soldier Ride helps them take their first steps in their return to an active lifestyle.
Sunshine State Challenge
On Thursday, January 15, 2009, District 12 Area District Vice President (ADVP) Frank Grau, Marketing Company President (MCP) Mario Martinez, U-Haul Company of Miami (Co. 787), and the U-Haul Media and Public Relations Department joined the Wounded Warrior Project during the Soldier Ride Sunshine State Challenge in Miami, Florida. Grau and Martinez were given the honor of presenting one wounded veteran, Sergeant Adriel Gonzalez, with his very own brand-new, one-of-a-kind Trek bicycle on behalf of U-Haul. During Sergeant Gonzalez’s second deployment to southern Afghanistan in 2007, he was wounded by an improvised explosive device (IED). Gonzalez suffered extensive damage to his left knee, which, unfortunately, ended his career in the infantry. Last year was Sergeant Gonzalez’s first time participating in the Soldier Ride Sunshine State Challenge. It was then that he realized his overwhelming excitement for cycling. Since then, Sergeant Gonzalez’s appreciation of cycling has helped him with his rehabilitation and has put him well on the road to recovery.
During the presentation of the bike, Grau expressed to Sergeant Gonzalez that on behalf of U-Haul and all of the freedom-loving Americans who support the Wounded Warrior Project and Soldier Ride, every time the new bike is taken out on the road, we want him to know that his dedication and commitment to our country will never be forgotten. “I have been to several Wounded Warrior Project events in Florida, and am always amazed at the dedication and perseverance these veterans continue to have for their country regardless of the wounds they may have sustained,” stated ADVP Grau.
Grau and Martinez also expressed to Gonzalez that U-Haul System members hope this customized bike will allow him to take his love and appreciation for cycling to a whole new level.