(WASHINGTON) — President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden welcomed wounded service members to the White House Thursday ahead of their annual bike ride.
“You’re the best America has to offer,” said Biden, addressing the families, caregivers, and wounded warriors on the White House South Lawn before they participated in the “Wounded Warrior Project’s Soldier Ride DC.”
The ride “empowers warriors to find solace, healing, and strength through movement,” according to its website.
The first lady opened the morning event with a cycling adage. “It never gets easier, it just gets faster,” said Biden, comparing the cycling phrase to the painstaking process of physical and mental healing.
She thanked the service members as well as their caretakers and family members for their support.
Danielle Green spoke on her journey from inner-city Chicago to serving the Army Military Police in Baghdad, where an enemy rocket tore off she left arm.
Green described feeling cared for when her comrades went back to the rooftop where she had been hit to recover her arm and hand with her wedding ring on it.
“I’ll never forget the feeling of people caring about me so much that they would risk their own lives,” said Green.
President Biden, whose own son Beau served in Iraq, touched on the direct impact military service has on his family. “The Biden family, to us it’s personal,” said Biden, who lauded the sacrifice of the service members in attendance.
Biden told the group, “On this ride today you’re not alone,” before honking a squeaking horn to kick off the bike ride. Wounded Warriors in cycling jerseys rode bikes on the South Lawn driveway as the executive couples cheered.
“We’re so damn proud of you.” concluded Biden, before greeting the crowd for pictures and conversation.
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