Wounded Warriors Bike 'Sea to Shining Sea'
(July 17, 2010)
FORT CARSON, Colo. (ANS - July 13, 2010) -- After an injury, a
Soldier's life can change forever. The road to recovery can be long
and fraught with frustration. Sometimes full recovery is impossible.
A few American heroes, injured in service to their nation, have set
out to prove that despite the challenges they face they can still
live productive and fulfilling lives.|
Riders from the Sea to Shining Sea program cycle
into Gunnison after a 64-mile trip from Montrose, CO on June 14,
2010. The riders, many of whom were wounded in combat, began the
ride in San Francisco May 22 and will finish at Virginia Beach, Va.,
||These dedicated survivors and their supporters are demonstrating
their physical prowess and determination as they travel from San
Francisco to Virginia Beach, Va., during the Sea to Shining Sea
cross-country cycling event.
C.W. Conner, an event coordinator for Sea to Shining Sea said each
day the cyclists stop to rest in a new town, and each day they
inspire the people of America, disabled or not, to live active and
"We go through some of these small towns and the people are very
patriotic, even crying," Conner said.
Conner said he began working with wounded warriors after his son
joined the Army.
"I started doing this full time about a year ago and I love it," he
said. "I cannot imagine doing anything else."|
As the cyclists trekked through Colorado, they took some time off to
celebrate the Army's 235th birthday with the people of Gunnison June
14, and later that week with the Fort Carson community to celebrate
Iron Horse Week.
The people of Gunnison invited the cyclists to join them for a
barbeque and their American Legion Army Birthday Celebration.
"The folks out there really seem to value freedom," said Sea to
Shining Sea rider Nicolette Maroulis. "It is really inspiring."
Maroulis, a former dog handler for the U.S. Navy, said she
participated in the ride to prove she could still be a strong and
"Before I came on this ride I would compare myself to the version of
myself before I was injured," she said. "Well, I never rode across
the country on a bike before I got hurt."
Maroulis does not have full use of her legs and is undergoing the
4,000-mile endurance test with a hand cycle.
She said one of her greatest motivations is to show other injured
veterans that they can still experience life and be active members
"I hope to say to that wounded veteran, 'Hey you can get off the
couch; you can go out and do things,'" explained Maroulis. "It does
not have to be with a big crowd, just grab your bike and ride."
Upon arrival at Fort Carson June 16, the riders were greeted with
cheers from Fort Carson Soldiers and families.
Maj. Gen. David G. Perkins, commanding general, 4th Infantry
Division and Fort Carson, thanked the riders for visiting Fort
Carson and commended the wounded warriors for their determination.
"You inspired us when you were on the battlefield, as all our
nation's servicemembers do," Perkins said. "Now after mastering the
injuries sustained in service to our nation you say, 'not only will
I overcome this challenge in my life, I will use it as a way to
Maroulis said remembering those that made the ultimate sacrifice for
her freedom motivates her more than anything else.
"There are so many Soldiers that have lost their lives or lost their
limbs so I can be free," she said. "If we do not get out there, if
we do not live and enjoy these freedoms, then what is it all for."
After visiting Fort Carson and resting for a day in Colorado
Springs, the cyclists set off once more, headed toward Denver to
share their message of perseverance with the rest of the nation.
Article and photo By Army Spc. Andrew Ingram
4th Infantry Division Public Affairs Office
Army News Service
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