Wounded Veterans Biking from DC to Annapolis
posted 04/28/10 6:26 pm producer: Malachi Constant
WASHINGTON - The ride to liberation started in D.C. Thirty wounded veterans from Iraq (web | news) and Afghanistan embarked on a 150-mile bike ride Wednesday. The Wounded Warrior Ride is not about whether you finish, but how you get there.
"They told me I was never going to live through what happened to me. And they told me if I ever lived, I would either be mentally retarded, or in a wheelchair the rest of my life," said Kevin Miller, an Afghanistan war veteran.
In July 2008, 27-year-old Kevin Miller was poisoned in Afghanistan with enough heroin and cyanide to kill seven men. Since then, he has re-learned how to dress, clean himself, go to the bathroom and when reporter Ben Eisler met up with him Wednesday, he had already biked 13 miles. Talkback:
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Miller said, "It doesn't matter what's wrong with you. If you want to do something, you're gonna do it. The only one stopping you, is you."
Wednesday, wounded veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan embarked on a ride to freedom. Iraq veteran Tom Murphy describes it as liberation.
He said, "I'm alive now, you know?"
The ride began at the White House with Vice President Joe Biden. It will end four days and 150 miles later in Annapolis.
"Catch up with me Sunday and I'll let you know how everything is," commented Miller.
The riders range from 23 to 45 years of age. Joseph Guyton, 29, became a double amputee after stepping on a pressure plate IED in Afghanistan. In times of doubt, he draws inspiration from fellow riders.
Guton said, "The last eight, nine months, it's really been looking at the guys to my left and my right."
Miller says the ride has changed what he believes he's capable of.
"You don't think about it at the time--you wait 'til you're done, and you're like 'you know what? I did that!'" said Miller.
He hopes it's changed how people throughout the country view individuals with disabilities.
Miller said, "Who cares what the other people want to say, or mock, or look at and laugh? You can show them up by doing what you can do."
The riders will loop around Baltimore, Andrews Air Force Base and Annapolis on Friday. But riders were not nearly as concerned with the final destination as the trip itself.