News Release

Contact: Sondra Katzen, Public Relations, 708.688.8351,

June 14, 2019


Chicago Zoological Society to Host Wounded Warrior Project Soldier Ride at Brookfield Zoo

Brookfield, Ill. – 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.

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About the Chicago Zoological Society

The mission of the Chicago Zoological Society is to inspire conservation leadership by engaging people and communities with wildlife and nature. The Chicago Zoological Society is a private nonprofit organization that operates Brookfield Zoo on land owned by the Forest Preserves of Cook County. The Society is known throughout the world for its international role in animal population management and wildlife conservation. Its Center for the Science of Animal Care and Welfare is at the forefront of animal care that strives to discover and implement innovative approaches to zoo animal management. Brookfield Zoo is the first zoo in the world to be awarded the Humane Certified™ certification mark for the care and welfare of its animals, meeting American Humane Association’s rigorous certification standards. Open every day of the year, the zoo is located at 8400 31st Street in Brookfield, Illinois, between the Stevenson (I-55) and Eisenhower (I-290) expressways and also is accessible via the Tri-State Tollway (I-294), Metra commuter line, CTA and PACE bus service. For further information, visit


Soldier Ride History

Soldier Ride® began in 2004 when civilian Chris Carney cycled more than 5,000 miles coast-to-coast to support WWP and help raise awareness for injured veterans. The following year, several combat warriors who returned from Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) with visible and invisible injuries joined Carney for another cross-country ride. The trek across the nation proved to be a milestone on the journey to recovery as wounded warriors redefined their personal strengths and limitations. Despite facing many obstacles, the warriors refused to give up. They used the experience as a catalyst to show the public and themselves that with support and motivation, anything was possible.

Today, Soldier Ride continues to inspire warriors to heal their bodies and minds. This year, almost 1,000 riders participated in more than 30 Soldier Ride events nationwide. Sponsored by USAA®, Soldier Ride has become a gathering that connects American heroes to each other and their communities and provides the American public an opportunity to honor that service and sacrifice. Read more at



Sondra Katzen
Media Relations Manager
Office: 708-688-8351
Cell Phone: 708-903-2071


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