[MARINE_BIOLOGY_INTERNATIONAL] Wounded veterans swim with dolphins


(NBC Miami)

Wounded Warriors Swim with Dolphins During Soldier Ride Event
Soldier Ride event benefits injured veterans
Sunday, Jan 15, 2012 | Updated 12:41 AM EST
Andy Newman

Wounded Warriors Swim with Dolphins During Soldier Ride Event

About 30 injured veterans interacted with dolphins in the Florida Keys as part of the Soldier Ride cycling event, which began in Miami and ends in Key West on Saturday.

Some of the veterans got in the water with the marine mammals while others learned how to get dolphins to do certain behaviors at the Dolphin Research Center, according to the Florida Keys News Bureau.

"That personal level ... and they're (dolphins are) smart. Just like a little kid and with being with an injury, little kids are the best people to be around because they always have a smile on their face, and they try to make you feel better," said 26-year-old Michael DeLancey, who was at first not at ease getting too close to the dolphins.

DeLancey is paralyzed below the waist from being shot in combat.

The veterans also rode across the Seven Mile Bridge using specially adapted bicycles.

Soldier Ride is organized by the Wounded Warrior Project, which helps empower injured veterans to get back their "physical and emotional well-being."

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