I am honored once again to captain a team of cyclists raising funds to enable wounded heroes to set and achieve new life goals.
We will be cycling from near the Pentagon in Arlington, VA to the historic battlefields of Gettysburg, PA on April 29th and April 30th of 2017. The ride is called Face of America.
I ask that you consider making a 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.
Our team (Strength & Honor) has been able to raise more than $200,000 for this great cause over the years so that wounded veterans pay no fees to participate.
I am specifically riding in memory of two veterans, during this year's ride:
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 (MCM) 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 Booz Allen Hamilton 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 late last year that he had been a staunch advocate for reform in the care of seriously wounded veterans but had become one of the daily "22 too many."
Your support for the event will help pay all the costs for wounded warriors to ride. I'm available to answer any questions you might have at e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org