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Wounded Soldier To Hand Pedal From Orlando To Tampa To Raise $ For Other Wounded

Posted Apr 12, 2012 by Howard Altman

Updated Apr 18, 2012 at 11:07 PM

Here’s a story that readers of this space will find both sadly familiar and familiarly inspiring.

And one you can come out and support if you’re looking for something to do Saturday afternoon.

Trooper blown up in Humvee in Iraq. Suffers horrific injuries. Not only survives but preservers. And rebounds from his injuries to help other wounded troops.

In this case, the trooper is Army Sgt. Josh Cope, injured in Iraq in November 2006 when the vehicle he was riding in rolled over an improvised explosive device. Cope lost both his legs above the knee and had serious injuries to his right hand.

Cope not only rehabilitated himself, but he has become a voice of recovery. Tomorrow, he is bringing his voice, via a hand-pedal bicycle, from Orlando to Tampa to raise awareness and funds for Building Homes for Heroes, an organization that helps provide homes for the wounded.

Cope is making the 100-mile trek from Orlando to Tampa, dubbed the Century Ride and symbolizing efforts to build a home for an Orlando soldier - SPC. B.J. Jackson, who was riding in a Humvee on Aug. 7, 2003, when insurgents blew it up – and Sgt. Joel Tavera, who received a Tampa home from the organization.

You can read more about Joel and his amazing family here.

The ride starts in Orlando at about 4 a.m. at the Northlake Park YMCA, 9055 Northlake Parkway, Orlando. The halfway stop is David’s World Cycle,  2125 South Florida Ave, Lakeland and the finish line is Beef ‘o’ Brady’s 1660 Bruce B Downs Blvd, Wesley Chapel.

Organizers expect the festivities in Wesley Chapel will begin about 2 p.m., with Cope expected to arrive anytime between then and 4 p.m.

For more information about the ride, click here.