Mike Pence Sends Project Hero Riders Off on 10th Memorial Day Ride for Veterans

Mike Pence-Memorial Day-Twitter:@VP
Twitter/@VP

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Vice President Mike Pence honored veterans this Memorial Day from his residence at the Naval Observatory, where about 200 vets attended and Project Hero launched its 10th Annual Memorial Day bike ride to Virginia Beach.

Pence stepped out and greeted the close to 100 riders to cheers from the crowd. He was joined by Karen Pence and Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin.

Project Hero President John Wordin addressed the crowd, noting it was the fourth year in a row the ride began at the Vice President’s residence. He pointed out the problem of suicide among veterans and Shulkin’s work in partnership with Project Hero to address it.

Shulkin told the crowd, “If it’s for veterans, they’re going to be there for us.” He continued, “Both he and Karen are passionate and relentless when it comes to veterans’ issues.”

Pence then took to the podium saying, “This is a day we remember those who served and did not come home…To be able to welcome you here on this most hallowed of days is profoundly humbling to Karen and I.” The Vice President thanked the veterans in attendance for their service and thanked Project Hero.

“We’ll be joining the president in just a few moments at Arlington National Cemetery,” said Pence, adding that he and Karen, as avid cyclists themselves, were slightly jealous of the riders who would be setting out for Virginia Beach shortly.

The Vice President took a moment to hail the President’s recent “extraordinary trip” to Europe and the time he spent with military troops in Italy. He highlighted Trump’s veteran health care executive order. Pence also lauded Project Hero’s work when it comes to the “unseen wounds” and prevalence of PTSD.

Pence wished the riders “Godspeed, safe travels all the way to Virginia Beach and for Project Hero and all of those that it helps all the way to a full recovery in an America that cherishes all those who serve.”

Second lady Karen Pence offered a brief prayer directly after her husband concluded his message. She encouraged the riders to take oranges and bananas that were set out for them.

Vice President and Mrs. Pence as well as Shulkin were presented with blue Project Hero biking jerseys to commemorate the ride. “That’ll give me a year to fit into it,” joked Pence.

Project Hero is a national nonprofit which describes itself as an “organization dedicated to helping Veterans and First Responders affected by PTSD, TBI and injury achieve rehabilitation, recovery and resilience in their daily lives and increasing awareness to combat the national mental health emergency posed by PTSD and TBI.”

Riders set out from the Vice President’s residence shortly after Pence departed to join President Donald Trump for a ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery. The riders headed toward their Virginia Beach destination.

Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana 

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