430 Miles...One Mission! This week 68 cyclists (including 3 members of Team Semper Fi) are biking 430 miles from Scottsdale, Arizona to San Diego, California! They are raising funds and awareness for the Semper Fi Fund. After more than 5 months of hard work and training, they plan to present these funds at the end of their journey.
What follows is Part II of an interview with Ride for Semper Fi Founder, John Greenway:
John, this week marks the 4th anniversary for The Ride for Semper Fi. Please tell us why you started the Ride for Semper Fi and share with us a little about your mission:
The Ride for Semper Fi began with the idea of giving back; bound by a common cause. We ride to honor the heroes lost, to support those injured, and for those who continue to bravely serve. Our mission is to provide hope for our injured heroes. We believe that hope breeds determination; determination leads to accomplishment, and accomplishment provides healing.
As you celebrate more than 5 months of training and fundraising and the beginning of a 430 mile journey, please share with us a favorite memory from your previous rides.
This is the most popular question I have been asked. The interesting thing is there are so many memories that I can't narrow it down. I think most people who have done the ride would agree its more about what we have learned:
1. The true meaning of sacrifice: During our journey I have watched friends leave for multiple deployments and seen other young people come back terribly injured; this has changed my perspective on life. I have come to realize that my worst day sometimes is still better than the best day of a young person who is laying in a hospital somewhere away from their family. Also, spending time with some of the Team Semper Fi Athletes has taught me the real meaning of sacrifice, and has given our team incredible inspiration.
2. Heroes come in all different forms: I always thought I knew what a hero was....an athlete...maybe a rock star...that's what I looked at when I was young. Now, I realize that heroes are doctors, nurses, volunteers at the Semper Fi Fund....people who just quietly serve day in and day out with the purpose of serving and taking care others. I have also seen the heroes of the battlefield. Spending time with Major Smith and Major Christian and others has shown me what a real hero is: a real leader leads from the front and puts the needs of others above his/her own.
3. Americans are great and giving people: The news or some columnists would have you believe that patriotism doesn't exist anymore. My experience over the last four years says differently. I have seen people wave flags as we ride by...I have had total strangers hug me and thank me for what we are doing. I had an older gentleman walk up to me on the ride and tell me that he had been laid off for several months. He said " I don't have much but I would like to give what I have." He then pressed a 10 dollar bill into my hands. People like these make our country different than others.....Americans give until it hurts.....then they give a little more.
So, in the end, its not about a favorite memory as much as it has been about the journey...what we have experienced, the memories we have built, and the life lessons we have learned.
For those who are new to The Ride for Semper Fi, how can they learn more and even get involved?
* Read about injured heroes who are riding 430 miles with us!
* Check out all the other Events these heroes are involved in.
* Contribute to our cause and help us provide hope for our injured heroes!