LINDENHURST - A group of 36 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans who returned home with grave injuries braved the heat today to celebrate life during the 7th annual Soldier Ride in Lindenhurst.

Nine months after 1st Lt. James Byler, of Huntington, lost both of his legs to an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan, he mounted a bike alongside other wounded warriors.

The veterans were accompanied by some 1,000 supporters who rode with them the 22 miles from Lindenhurst to Overlook Beach as flag-waving spectators cheered them on.

The goal of Soldier Ride is to help severely injured soldiers get stronger by making them once again part of a unit.

"The ride is about getting out, getting fresh air and kind of getting back out into the world," Byler says.

For an extended coverage of the Soldier Ride, go to your digital cable box and select iO Extra on Ch. 612.