I am honored once again to captain a team cycling and raising funds to enable wounded heroes to set and achieve new life goals.
We will be between Arlington, VA and the historic battlefields of Gettysburg, PA from April 29th to April 30th of 2017, and the ride is called Face of America.
I invite your donation this year because it is really much more than a bike ride. It's an opportunity to share stories and build camaraderie with America's wounded warriors. It's a way to honor their service and celebrate the American spirit. But more importantly, many won't get to ride unless we raise funds to underwrite costs of 600+ riders!! Some have already forgotten the sacrifices of so many to protect and preserve our way of life.
Team Strength & Honor has been able to raise nearly $250,000 for this great cause in 11 years so that wounded veterans can participate and progress with their rehabilitation.
I specifically ride in memory of two veterans:
Major James Weis, USMC – KIA 7/22/2010 Helmand Province Afghanistan.
James had been a good friend of mine, went to church with me, cycled with me on several occasions - and while deployed - committed to riding the Face of America with Strength & Honor the next year. His loss hit me pretty hard that year as it was an ambush of his helicopter (responding to support ground troops in contact with the enemy). As we approach the 5 year anniversary of his death I want to honor his sacrifice with this tribute. James was a great family man, husband and father of two. He had instructed student officers at the Marine Corps' Expeditionary Warfare School and selflessly deployed multiple times. He loved his fellow Marines – and most of all, he loved this country.
Corporal Casey Owens, USMC – died 10/17/2014 following his battle with PTS after injuries sustained in Iraq 9/20/2004.
I first saw Casey at the Marine Corps Marathon in 2005 at the finish line. I was a regular attender, supporting and celebrating the efforts of athletes taking on the 26.2 miles. Casey was on a hand-cycle, missing both legs, just a year after running over two anti-tank mines responding to a medevac (medical evacuation) request for another Marine. Later that year, Casey was our guest of honor at a Marine Birthday celebration held by my employer in Arlington, VA. At that time he was anticipating medical retirement, learning to use two prosthetic legs and as all Marines do, looking great in his Dress Blues! I lost touch with him despite encouraging him to keep in touch with me, and found out in late 2015 that he had become one of the daily "22 too many" after being a staunch advocate for reform in the care of seriously wounded veterans.
Your support for the event will help pay the costs for wounded warriors to participate. I'm available to answer any questions you might have at e-mail: email@example.com