Disabled veterans peddling across country offer message of hope - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Disabled veterans peddling across country with message of hope

A group of disabled veterans is making a cross country bicycle tour from San Francisco to Virginia beach.  

The vets made a stop in Cincinnati at the Drake Center to inspire others working to overcome their disabilities.

Marine Corp veteran Michael Manning says the message he and the other riders have is simple. "In a hospital, in a wheelchair, you cannot give up because once you give up you're done."

Manning says he was nearly done after coming home from Iraq with depression and post traumatic stress disorder, but with a little help from family and friends, he says he's found hope.

Manning conveyed, "There is life after disabilities."

The veterans call their bicycle tour 'From Sea to Shining Sea'.

Robbie Warren, who was badly injured in an ATV accident last summer says their message resonates with him. "Very inspirational coming from one person to another to me, especially because I try so hard with my accident, you know. I try hard every day, and I think every day I'm going to get stronger and stronger."

Twenty one-year-old Harlan Cornett was shot last year, and he says the veterans have brought him encouragement. "It was a big inspiration because these people went through a lot in their lives, you know. They had a lot of traumatic brain injuries, but they didn't let nothing stop them."

John Cullen of Loveland suffered a severe head injury in a bicycle accident, but now he says his possibilities are endless. "Its just amazing to see what people have gone through and they're willing to overcome what's happened to them and they just keep moving on."

Manning says its all about trying to lift up others along the way with their stories of personal triumph. "Don't give up.  I was at the point to where I wanted to give up and, you know, there's too much to live for."

Plans are underway for the next sea to shining sea bike tour in 2014 with even more riders.

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