June 20th, 2024

Veteran rides into Lethbridge in support of Wounded Warriors

By Dale Woodard on August 20, 2021.

THE PRAIRIE THOUSAND photo - Veteran Rob Nederlof arrived in Lethbridge Thursday after riding from Manitoba for Wounded Warriors Canada.

Who says the prairie provinces are flat?
It’s a geographical stereotype Rob Nederlof may wish to debate with you.
While the military sargeant veteran from Manitoba with three tours of duty found out firsthand the flat prairies aren’t so flat afterwards as he biked from Wawanesa, Manitoba to Lethbridge – where he arrived Thursday morning – the reason for that trek and the funds it raised made it all worth it.
Nederlof’s arrival in Lethbridge marked the end of the The Prairie Thousand ride, raising funds and awareness for Wounded Warriors Canada and their support dog program.
After watching people suffering from PTSD as a veteran of three tours of duty, Nederlof took off from Wawanesa – about 50km southeast of Brandon -hoping to raise $5,000 to pay for part of the $15,000 cost of raising and training a PTSD support dog.
There was a bit more hilly terrain that one might anticipate.
“Biking through the southern part of the prairies is actually not as flat as people think,” said Nederlof. “There is a lot of beauty out there and you get to see it a lot easier when you’re biking as opposed to driving. It doesn’t go by as fast.”
With the trek complete, Nederlof and his wife, Marina, surpassed their $5,000 goal with more than $7,000 from the trek that started Aug. 11.
“I know what it’s like to have a pet and if you have issues you need to take care of or can’t take care of on your own, service dogs are amazing for helping you get through the hard times,” said Nederlof. “They need to be trained a certain way so they can respond to how a person is reacting and that takes a lot of money and a lot of effort as well. If you can have at least on person benefit from a service dog, especially in my line of work being a military member or a first responder, then I think I’ve done my job helping them out.”
He got a hero’s welcome Thursday morning when he arrived in town.
“Coming into Lethbridge, we had an excellent police escort,” said Nederlof. “I had a couple patrolmen on a bike as well with and bunch of cop cars. It was awesome. They were stopping traffic and putting the sirens on. We went right to police (headquarters) and I met the Chief of Police (Shahin Mehdizadeh). He gave me a coin for the effort I put in and was very happy to see that I did that.”
Nederlof had plenty of warm welcomes over the course of his journey.
“It was just a wonderful trip,” he said. “I met a lot of wonderful people along the way, a lot of first responders and police who have helped me along the way. I got escorts through Medicine Hat, Regina, Brandon and Lethbridge.”
With the trip complete, Nederlof said the goal is to make it an annual one.
“I would definitely to it again. The response from everybody has been overwhelming. I’ve been in my happy place for weeks from all the responses, donations and followers we’ve had. It’s been amazing.”

Follow @dwoodardherald on Twitter

Share this story:

1 Comment
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments