News Release
Contact: Sondra Katzen, Public Relations, 708.688.8351,
June 22, 2023
 NOTE: Scroll to end of press release to download photos.

Chicago Zoological Society Hosts Wounded Warrior Project® Soldier Ride® at Brookfield Zoo

Brookfield, Ill.—Today, June 22, the Chicago Zoological Society, which manages Brookfield Zoo, was proud to once again welcome and host the Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) Soldier Ride®. This year, 40 injured veterans were welcomed as they rode under an American flag draped across two ladder trucks from Riverside and Brookfield fire departments prior to entering Brookfield Zoo’s south gate.

Once inside the park, Zoo staff and volunteers, guests, and campers lined the walkways as the veterans rode through the park on a route from the Zoo’s south gate to the north gate.

After the ride, the warriors were 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 greeted the veterans.

The 19.1-mile ride to Brookfield Zoo was the first of a three-day, more than 52-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 the 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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32 and 37: Prior to entering Brookfield Zoo, 40 injured veterans from the Wounded Warrior Project® Soldier Ride® rode under an American flag draped across two ladder trucks from Riverside and Brookfield fire departments. (photo credit: Cathy Bazzoni/CZS-Brookfield Zoo)
2608, 2612, 2616, 2623, 2632, and 2645: Injured veterans from the Wounded Warrior Project® Soldier Ride® are greeted by staff, volunteers, guests, and campers at Brookfield Zoo. After the ride the veterans were treated to lunch and a tour of the Zoo. (photo credit: Jim Schulz/CZS-Brookfield Zoo)

About the Chicago Zoological Society
The mission of the Chicago Zoological Society is to inspire conservation leadership by connecting people to 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. The Zoo is also accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums, and the International Marine Animal Trainers’ Association. Brookfield 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, and CTA and PACE bus service. For further information, visit
Soldier Ride History 
Soldier Ride® began in 2004 when a founder 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 the 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. 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.



Sondra Katzen
Director of Public Relations
Office: 708-688-8351
Cell Phone: 708-903-2071


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