38th Highground Heroes ride

Published: Aug. 7, 2022 at 6:42 PM CDT
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CLARK COUNTY, Wis. (WEAU) - The 38th Highground Heroes Ride finished its last day of biking, with five different routes of around 150 miles each.

The event raises money for the Highground Veteran’s Memorial Park and its efforts to support veterans. Jerry Simon from New Richmond has been pedaling in the Highground Heroes Ride for 37 years.

“I was in Vietnam and did my stretch over there and came back and finding out this was a tribute to our fellow men that did not make it back, I just had to do something,” Simon said. “I had to do something, so I got involved in this.”

The Highground Heroes Ride started with one man riding across the state to honor the veterans that did not make it home. Now, that number has grown to over 140 cyclists. The Highground Veterans Memorial Park has different tributes, tours and a museum sharing the human cost of war, which is something Brian Barth from Neillsville said means a lot to him.

“So, being a veteran and understanding what this place is and where the money goes, this place is more than just honoring who was lost in previous conflicts,” Barth said. “It’s a place of healing for those that need to.”

The reason for riding is different for each person, but everyone involved shares one mission, to support veterans. Oran Braatz of Fond du Lac served in Vietnam and does this to recognize other veterans.

“I do this because when we got all the Vietnam veterans back, there was no thank you,” Braatz said. " You know, this is my way of thanking other vets.”

Each of the riders said the people and the camaraderie helped make this event so rewarding, with all of them hoping to pedal again in next year’s Highground Heroes ride.

This year’s Highground Heroes Ride raised over $80,000, nearly $20,000 more than last year.

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