For the fifth year, the Chicago Zoological Society is proud to host the Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) Soldier Ride®. On Thursday, June 20, around 11:30 a.m. nearly 60 wounded veterans will ride under an American flag draped across two ladder trucks from Riverside and Brookfield fire departments prior to entering Brookfield Zoo’s south gate.

The zoo will be promoting the event via its social media channels inviting guests to join staff and volunteers in lining the walkways as the veterans ride through the park on a route from the south gate to the north gate. Also on hand to acknowledge the riders will be youngsters enrolled in Brookfield Zoo’s camp program. They will be on the walkways holding and waving flags as the veterans pass by. In addition, flags will be displayed around Roosevelt Fountain, and guests will have an opportunity to express their well wishes to the veterans by signing banners at the north and south entrances.

As in past years, after riding bikes through the park, the warriors will be served lunch in the zoo’s Pavilions followed by a narrated tour of the park aboard Motor Safari trams. In addition, several of the zoo’s animal ambassadors will greet the veterans.

The 16.2-mile ride to Brookfield Zoo is the first of a three-day, 61.5-mile cycling event throughout the Chicagoland area. Soldier Ride is a multi-day bicycling event, where injured veterans are challenged to push themselves physically and mentally as they manage visible and invisible wounds of war. Soldier Ride visits dozens of American cities to connect warriors to each other and their local communities.