While the rest of the nation was gearing up for barbecues and Memorial Day celebrations, 14 wounded warriors were preparing for the 3rd Annual 100k bike ride near Waco, Texas at the Prairie Chapel Ranch. The George W. Bush Institute created a 100k mountain bike ride as part of the Military Service Initiative. Wounded service members are invited to apply for the event and companies offer generous sponsorships. The bike ride is to honor the service and sacrifice military members make for our country.
The 14 selected wounded warriors were:
Major James C. Anderson, Jr., USA, from San Antonio, TX
Sergeant First Class Manuel A. Colón, USA from Orlando, FL
Sergeant First Class Thomas W. Costello, USA, from Shelby, NC
Staff Sergeant Matthew P. DeWitt, USA, Ret. from Weare, NH
First Sergeant Robert A. Ferrara, USA, Ret. from San Antonio, TX
Major John Dana Greer, USA, Ret., from Savannah, GA
Lieutenant Colonel David Johnson, USA
Staff Sergeant Joshua M. Krueger, USMC, Ret. from Hubertus, WI
Staff Sergeant Michael D. Morabito, USA, Ret., from Converse, TX
Staff Sergeant Jeffrey R. Palenske, USA from Chicago, IL
Master Sergeant Roque Rodriguez-Urena, USAF Ret., from Charleston, SC
Staff Sergeant Omar R. Romney, USA, Ret., from Clarksville, TN
Specialist José E. Santiago, USA from Centennial, CO
Major Kent G. Solheim, USA from Raeford, NC
Trek bicycles donates and fits each rider with a mountain bike and adaptation accessories. This year each rider was given the just-released Trek Fuel 29er bike. There were many other sponsors which helped with the event. Robert Agostinelli, Bell Helicopter, Emergent Biosolutions, Trek bicycles, Hero Miles, Coryell Memorial Healthcare System, Oakley, Amarillo National Bank, Hardie’s, American Airlines, OneHope, DeFeet, Richardson Bike Mart, Brazos Valley Equipment, WCTractor, Hans Johnsen Company and Jelly Belly.
Pat Green welcomed the riders and their families on opening day with a surprise concert. Former President George W. Bush had his own bike, and participated in the ride. The 100k course wasn’t easy, but the riders had the tools and the willpower to succeed. The three-day event was to boost morale, raise awareness and to honor the many other service members who have willingly sacrificed for our freedom.