Honor Ride Honors Fallen Marine
(October 25, 2010)
LEJEUNE, North Carolina (Oct. 20, 2010) - Peddling at an
average of nearly 20 mph three days in a row, from dawn to
dusk, four Marines along with seven others from various
police and military organizations rode their bicycles the
equivalent of more than 17 marathons to honor a fallen hero,
Capt. Joshua S. Meadows. |
Meadows of 1st Marine Special Operations Battalion, U.S.
Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command, died Sept.
5, 2009 while conducting combat operations in Farah
Province, Afghanistan, in support of Operation Enduring
The City of Duluth Police Department, founders of Operation
One Voice, chose Meadows for their annual Honor Ride. This
is the fourth Honor Ride.
Each year since the Honor Ride first began in 2007, it has
honored a fallen service member from each service component
of U.S. Special Operations Command. This year it was a
fallen MARSOC Marine's turn to be honored.
A team of 11 riders from MARSOC, Duluth
Police Department, Tallahassee Police
Department, Tallahassee Fire Department, Air
Force Special Operations Command and the
North Carolina State Highway Patrol rode
more than 465 miles from Sept. 7 to Sept. 9,
snaking down country highways, small towns
and cities. The ride began in Duluth, Ga.,
and ended with a closing ceremony Sept. 10
at the Marine Corps Forces Special
Operations Command headquarters aboard Camp
Lejeune, N.C. Two North Carolina State
Highway Patrolmen joined the team at the
state line for the last day of riding.
In past honor rides, the riders would take turns being on
the road, each riding different legs of the journey.
From left, Capt. Christopher Tousant and Gunnery Sgt. Joshua Chmielewski of U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Special Operations Command race towards Marion, S.C., Sept. 8,
“Our plan was not to ride the whole thing - the mileage was
a little overwhelming,” said Capt. Christopher Tousant, 1st
But as stereotypical Marines do, they wanted an even greater
challenge, so they rode the whole way.|
The Marines rode the entire planned distance the first and
third days without splitting up the distance into relays as
was done in past Honor Rides. This is the first time in
Honor Ride history a team has done this.
“We got on the road the first day and it was painful, to say
the least,” Tousant said. But as time went on, the riding
got easier each day, he added.
It was not just about a challenge to the Marines, it was
also the opportunity to honor a fallen comrade.
“I think it's a great opportunity to honor the fallen MARSOC
Marines,” said Capt. David Snipes, MARSOC. “It's just a
matter of digging deep and making sure we are honoring
The ride officially ended Sept. 10 with a ceremony at MARSOC
headquarters where MARSOC Commander, Maj. Gen. Paul E.
Lefebvre, and a formation of more than 40 Marines greeted
them. An exchange of plaques and the donation of a
specialized custom bike to the command followed.
According to the website www.operationonevoice.org,
Operation One Voice is a program designed to raise funds in
support of the children and families of wounded and fallen
special operations service members. However, the Honor Ride
has never been a fundraiser. Its sole mission was to honor
fallen service members.
“We all feel it is just too easy to say, ‘I support you,'
but it builds pride and fellowship to go out and sweat with
the special operations forces guys that we are supporting,”
said Lt. Bill Stevens, Duluth Police Department.
Article and photo by USMC LCpl. Thomas Provost|
Marines Special Operations Command PAO
Comment on this article