CLARK COUNTY, Wis. (WEAU) — The 38th Highground Heroes Ride has completed its final day of cycling, featuring five different routes of approximately 150 miles each.
The event raises funds for the Highground Veteran’s Memorial Park and its efforts to support veterans. Jerry Simon of New Richmond has been riding the Highground Heroes Ride for 37 years.
“I was in Vietnam and did my stretch there and came back and found it was a tribute to our fellow human beings who didn’t come back, I just had to do something,” said Simon. “I had to do something, so I got involved in it.”
The Highground Heroes Ride started with a man riding across the state to honor veterans who didn’t make it home. Today, that number has grown to over 140 cyclists. The Highground Veterans Memorial Park offers different tributes, tours and a museum sharing the human cost of war, which Brian Barth of Neillsville says means a lot to him.
“So being a veteran and understanding what this place is and where the money is going, this place is more than just a tribute to those lost in previous conflicts,” Barth said. “It’s a place of healing for those in need.”
The reason for riding is different for each person, but everyone involved shares the same mission, to support veterans. Oran Braatz of Fond du Lac served in Vietnam and does so to recognize other veterans.
“I’m doing this because when we got all the Vietnam vets back, there was no thank you,” Braatz said. “You know, it’s my way of saying thank you to other vets.
Each of the riders said the people and camaraderie helped make this event so rewarding, with all hoping to ride again in next year’s Highground Heroes race.
This year’s Highground Heroes Ride raised over $80,000, nearly $20,000 more than last year.
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