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Face of America ride is an inspiration to many

Saturday - 4/26/2014, 1:57pm  ET

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Face of America Ride

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WASHINGTON -- A ride honoring our injured vets - it's the annual Face of America Bike Ride.

Hundreds of riders left Saturday at 7:30 a.m. from the Pentagon heading to the battlefields of Gettysburg.

During the two-day, 110-mile trip, our wounded warriors team up with other riders forging friendship and a deep respect for each other.

Alex Roman, an able-bodied rider, is part of Christopher Levy's team from Long Island. When asked why he does this ride Roman says, "So these guys can teach me how not to complain about anything."

His buddy Christopher Levy was injured in Iraq in 2008. Levy says, "I lost both my legs above the knee and I'm 70 percent disabled in my dominate hand."

This is Levy's second year doing the ride. He's outfitted with a hand-cycle. "I do this ride because it's not about us being disabled," he says. The ride focuses instead on getting back a little piece of themselves that might have been lost through injury.

This is a ride and not a race, says Colonel Gregory Gadson, who's the Garrison Commander at Fort Belvoir.

The annual bike ride which started in 2003 continues to grow. Gadson says, "The fact is people keep coming back and it keeps getting bigger and bigger. It just shows the power of coming together."

The colonel is using a hand cycle for the ride. In 2007, a roadside bomb took both his legs and severely injured his right arm in Baghdad.

"We all have challenges to overcome and stories to share and this ride gives us a chance to do it," the colonel says.

He enjoys riding through the countryside and enjoys the people who come out to cheer them on.

Gadson says it's about being personal with his country. "It's really inspiring."

When the colonel talks about his injures, he agrees that it has changed the way he does things but he does not see it as a disability.

"You know I get up and go to work every day. And so how is that a disability?"

Of the more than 500-people who are taking part this year, 130 are wounded warriors.

"It's great to be around people who life you up," says an injured vet who's with a team from Colorado.

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