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Thursday
Jul262012

Riders meet with WTB Soldiers

By Justin Creech, Belvoir Eagle

The Fort Belvoir Soldier and Family Assistance Center welcomed World T.E.A.M. Sports Sea to Shining Sea bike riders on Monday for a meet and greet with Soldiers from the Warrior Transition Battalion.

Hunter Pinnell and Henry Riley lead the team on the ride to Richmond. Photograph by Michael Sanders.Sea to Shining Sea riders met with WTB Soldiers for about 30 minutes as well as members of the Fort Belvoir Garrison staff that included Garrison Commander Col. Gregory D. Gadson and Garrison Command Sgt. Maj. Chester D. Grelock.

Each rider is a veteran who served in Bosnia, Panama and Vietnam, or in Iraq and Afghanistan. Each veteran lives with a disability ranging from loss of limbs, blindness or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

The ride, which began in San Francisco, Calif. on May 28 and will end in Virginia Beach, Va. July 28, is designed to inspire other disabled veterans to overcome the challenges and obstacles they are currently facing.

"If you watch (the riders) for five minutes and you watch the reaction people have when they come up to them it’s incredible," said Mike Claver, Sea to Shining Sea ride director. "We stopped in Dodge City, Kan. after having ridden well into the night. It was 114 degrees and we had a lot of people turnout at the town center at the 9/11 memorial they have. Watching little kids walking out on prosthetics, coming out on crutches and a deformed arm. Watching these guys lean down and tell the kids ‘its ok you have a handicap because you can still do things’ you don’t keep a dry eye very often."

Read the full story at the Belvoir Eagle website.

Regrouping for the ride into Richmond. Photograph by Michael Sanders.James Sheehan and Bill Czyzewski ride to Richmond. Photograph by Michael Sanders.The team enters Richmond on July 24. Photograph by Michael Sanders.

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