My father was born and raised in Eastern North Carolina, just as I was. The day he turned 18 in 1965, he raised his right hand, recited the oath of enlistment and joined the navy at his hometown recruitment office, just as his father had done before him. He packed his bags and headed to the west coast for basic training. From there, he was sent where he was needed most; he was assigned and trained as a Marine Corpsman in Vietnam.
Just recently, after years of living with noticeably shorter breath, he was diagnosed with restrictive lung disease. 30% of his lungs do not function. The direct cause could be a litany of things, but no one is ruling out extended exposure to Agent Orange or breathing the fumes of latrine-burnings.
My father, my hero, an American war hero, is why I ride. He'd argue that he was "just doing what [he] was ordered to do" but I beg to differ. Like every soldier, he sacrificed his life on the front line in the name of American freedom and in some ways, he never stopped. Namely, he sacrificed his ability to take deep, nourishing, healing breath.
I ride for him and every veteran in this country who carries the weight of war well beyond the time they return home. It is because of them I can hop on my bike and spend a lovely weekend pedaling across the beautiful country I call home.
Please join me in my efforts to make a difference by making a personal or corporate tax-deductible donation. Ask your HR Department about matching gifts and see your donation double in support of my efforts and the mission of the American Lung Association.
Thank you in advance for your support!!