GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Cheers erupted Thursday as a group of Ride to Recovery cyclists arrived at the Island View hotel. This makes the second year in a row they've stopped in Gulfport.
"This group not only puts these on, but they build custom bicycles for these folks who have lost limbs. Last year, we had two or three quad amputees actually participate," said Gulfport Mayor Billy Hewes.
United Healthcare's Ride to Recovery is a non-profit program dedicated to helping wounded military personal recover through cycling. Participants will ride more than 400 miles in a time span of six days starting in Atlanta, Georgia and ending in New Orleans.
"This is the second year we've hosted it and we're a big military community. We have a great appreciation for our serviceman and women," said Mayor Hewes.
South Mississippi native, Sgt. Velette Webb was also on the Ride to Recovery. After an accident in Colorado left her paralyzed from the waist down, she could no longer ride a normal bike. But that didn't stop her from participating in this year's ride. She said coming back to her hometown and receiving so much support was amazing.
"It's humbling to know so many people are behind me and are supporting me. I mean, I'm [lost for words] honestly," said Sgt. Webb.
"We wanna make sure they receive a proper welcome and a good send off tomorrow," said Mayor Hewes.