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Patriotic Article
Noble Efforts

By Army SSgt. Ricardo Branch

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‘Spin-A-Thon' Raises Donations For Wounded Warrior Project
(January 5, 2011)

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CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE WARHORSE, Iraq – Deployed troops and U.S. personnel, serving at Contingency Operating Base Warhorse, raised money for the Wounded Warrior Project during a “Spin-A-Thon” event at the Cash Gym, Dec. 25.
U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Terry Prime planned and organized the Spin-a-Thon, hosting 26 volunteers, each taking turns peddling two stationary exercise bikes to raise donations.

The Wounded Warrior Project, a Veterans Affairs-accredited organization listed with the Combined Federal Campaign, is a charity designed to counsel and help wounded service members return to the workforce after their military service, said Prime.

“They offer a variety of programs geared toward helping individuals get back into life, Prime explained. “Often an injured service member will be faced with life altering things in their life, and the Wounded Warrior Project is there to help get them through it.

Beginning at noon, Christmas Day, volunteers divided eight hours into 30-minute blocks, peddling and switching out
Sgt. David Alsup, a current operations sergeant with the 66th Engineer Company, 2nd Advise and Assist Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, from Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, and Pfc. Christian Perez-Silva, a systems maintainer and integrator, 185th Military Intelligence Company, 2nd AAB, 25th Inf. Div., ride stationary cycles at the Cash Gym at Forward Operating Base Warhorse, Diyala province, Iraq Dec. 25, 2010. The two soldiers joined 24 other service members in riding stationary cycles as part of a Christmas Day "Spin-a-Thon" to raise awareness and donations for the Wounded Warrior Project. The participants raised $1,000 to assist wounded veterans on the road to recovery. Photo by Spc. Robert Michael England
Sgt. David Alsup, a current operations sergeant with the 66th Engineer Company, 2nd Advise and Assist Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, from Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, and Pfc. Christian Perez-Silva, a systems maintainer and integrator, 185th Military Intelligence Company, 2nd AAB, 25th Inf. Div., ride stationary cycles at the Cash Gym at Forward Operating Base Warhorse, Diyala province, Iraq Dec. 25, 2010. The two soldiers joined 24 other service members in riding stationary cycles as part of a Christmas Day "Spin-a-Thon" to raise awareness and donations for the Wounded Warrior Project. The participants raised $1,000 to assist wounded veterans on the road to recovery. Photo by Spc. Robert Michael England
partners in groups of two. The participants solicited donations from patrons visiting the gym.
Prime, the Air Force Weather Team non-commissioned officer in charge, attached to 2nd Advise and Assist Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, supporting Operation New Dawn, said he felt the holiday season was the best time to host the event.

“I chose Christmas as a day to hold this event because it's obviously the biggest day of giving and can't think of a more worthy cause to give to our brothers and sisters-in-arms who have been injured defending our country,” said Prime, who is assigned to 22nd Expeditionary Weather Squadron.

Prime also volunteered as a rider, dedicating his performance to a more selfless purpose.

“Over the past couple of years, I have grown a bit tired of training and racing just for personal benefit,” he said. “I decided I wanted to start giving back.”

“I chose the Wounded Warrior Project because I was inspired by a lot of the stories of individuals overcoming obstacles in their life from injuries sustained while they were in the military, he said. “This is my way to give back.”

Pfc. Robert Rankin, a Fredrick, Md.-native, from the 185th Military Intelligence Company, 2nd AAB, 25th Inf., Div., said he heard about organizations raising money for wounded warriors and always wanted to do his part.

“My sergeant told me about this event,” he said. “There's been stories of soldiers getting injured and overcoming those things with help by organizations like the Wounded Warrior Project.”

Rankin said he volunteered for the event because he wanted to participate for a good cause and give back to the military's wounded service members.

“Knowing your making a difference for another service member is what makes me do this,” he said. “You're only giving up a little of your time, but that time is going to help someone out there, possibly a soldier, so it's the right thing to do.”

Event participants raised $1,000 donated by individuals who visited the gymnasium on Christmas Day.

“We raised a sizable donation for the organization, which is going to go a long way to helping our wounded warriors in the military,” Prime said. “The Wounded Warrior Project does a lot to help injured service members, so it was great to give back to them today.”
By Army SSgt. Ricardo Branch
2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division
Copyright 2010

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