Marine honors fallen friend with ‘Malcolm 200’ bike ride

151030-O-ZZ999-001QUANTICO, Va. (ABC7) — On this Veteran’s Day, US Marine Corps Major Matthew Kutilek got up at 3 to ride a bike 200 miles all in honor of his friend and fallen Marine, Lt. Dan Malcolm, who was killed by enemy sniper fire on November 10, 2004 when the two were serving together in Fallujah.

For the second year in a row, Major Kutilek organized the “Malcolm 200”, a 200-mile journey. A group of about 20 cyclists traveled 11 times around a 17-mile loop inside Marine Corps Base Quantico at a speed of nearly 18 miles an hour, “This is the least we can do for guys like him who sacrificed and gave their lives in defense of our country and what better thing to do on Veteran’s Day as well.”

Major Kutilek, who himself suffered a severe leg injury after taking sniper fire in Afghanistan in 2010, was joined from the start by two others, including Chief Warrant Officer 2 Kyle Hanson, and Joanna Graham, whose husband is currently deployed overseas, “When you think about folks that pay that ultimate price, make the ultimate sacrifice, it’s a great way to remember them by doing something that’s physically difficult, emotionally difficult”.

But at the finish line, it was well worth the struggle, and with this one done, Matthew Kutelik will start looking ahead to next year, “Yes I plan on doing this for the rest of my life, every November 10th or 11th”.

This is the second year Major Kutelik has organized this race. Last year it took place at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. So far he has helped raise $17,000 for the Semper Fi Fund, which provides financial aid for wounded post-9/11 veterans.