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ARTICLE Injured Veterans Ride to Honor Victims of 9.11

NEW YORK (Sept. 9, 2011) – More than 350 injured veterans and their supporters will set off Sept. 11 on the Ride 2 Recovery 9.11 Challenge sponsored by UnitedHealthcare, a 540-mile bicycle ride in remembrance of the tragic events 10 years ago.


Along with veterans using hand cycles, recumbents and traditional road bikes, the cyclists also will include those injured on 9.11, joined the military as a result of 9.11 events, and were first responders as well as family members and supporters.


The eight-day ride will begin at the Liberty State Park on New York Harbor, travel to the Flight 93 Memorial in Shanksville, Pa., and end at the Pentagon on Sept. 18.


Ride 2 Recovery offers service men and women physical and psychological rehabilitation programs that feature cycling as the core activity. From indoor spinning training at military installations to multiday, long-distance rides, it helps injured veterans heal through the challenge of cycling long distances.


The Ride 2 Recovery 9.11 Challenge participants will attend a wreath laying and tour of Tribute World Trade Center Visitor Center on Sept. 10. That evening, Tim Brown, who was part of Fire Department New York Rescue to the NYC Mayor's Office of Emergency Management, will share his experience at the opening dinner.


On Sept. 11 at 10 a.m., a ceremony at Liberty State Park will kick-off the 9.11 Challenge's 540-mile bicycle ride. That evening, the riders will attend a dinner featuring guest speaker Bob Delaney, former New Jersey State Trooper and author of newly released book, "Surviving the Shadows: A Journey of Hope into Post-Traumatic Stress."


This is the second year that UnitedHealthcare is serving as the Ride 2 Recovery's presenting sponsor, providing financial, in-kind and volunteer support to assist in the rehabilitation of America's injured veterans.


"The 9.11 Challenge continues the Ride 2 Recovery mission of supporting the rehabilitation and recovery efforts for the men and women who serve our country while honoring those who were killed or injured in the tragic events on 9.11," said Forrest Burke, CEO, UnitedHealthcare's Public Sector, Government, Labor & Education Markets. "Ride 2 Recovery enables injured service men and women to regain their physical, emotional and spiritual strength as they recover from the visible and invisible scars from their time served. UnitedHealthcare and its employees are honored to work with them through these cycling events."


"Anyone can cycle. We adapt bikes for the injured veterans so they can once again find the physical and mental outlet, whether alone or in groups. As they rebuild strength and conditioning, they are also healing the effects of post traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injuries and depression. Cycling is a powerful therapeutic exercise that they can continue to do for the rest of their lives," said John Wordin, president and founder, Ride 2 Recovery.


The USO will support daily rest stops with a mobile canteen, and the American Legion will provide a motorcycle escort and sponsor dinners and community events. The public is encouraged to gather along the daily routes to support the cyclists.


About R2R
Ride 2 Recovery, a 501(c) 3, helps injured veterans improve their health and wellness through individual and group cycling. Cycling has proven to be a catalyst in the recovery process by providing a new physical challenge while concurrently helping to cope with the mental challenges.


About UnitedHealthcare
UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping people nationwide live healthier lives by simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers. The company offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with more than 650,000 physicians and care professionals and 5,000 hospitals nationwide. UnitedHealthcare serves more than 38 million people and is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company.