After the mayhem of Catfish Lake Road on the afternoon of day two, the team climbed back aboard their bikes and put in the final pedal strokes to Jacksonville! The final leg of the Hope for the Warriors Bike Tour started in Havelock and headed south by Camp Lejeune to Marine FCU’s headquarters location.
The riders, who had SFC Andy McCaffrey along for the trip, added another Andy in Havelock. Capt. Andy Davidson, a member of the US Navy and a Hope for the Warriors rider, joined us for the final day’s ride. He was joined by several other Hope for the Warriors riders who joined TLG about five miles from the ending point of the tour.
The third day was most uneventful, and a few rain showers helped to keep the temperature in check later in the morning when the ride was nearing the end.
Meanwhile in Jacksonville, dozens of people from Hope for the Warriors and Marine FCU gathered to welcome the riders as they came off the road after the 230 mile adventure. They were joined by dignitaries from Camp Lejeune, as well as John Phelps, the artist who is designing a sculpture for the Hope for the Warriors Care Center at Camp Lejeune. Phelps’ son Chance was killed in Iraq in 2004. Chance Phelps was the subject of the remarkable movie Taking Chance, which aired on HBO last year. A portion of the funds raised by credit unions will be used for the sculpture to be placed outside the Care Center.
Tired legs and other aches were quickly forgotten as the riders were served a hearty lunch and honored for their 230-mile achievement. But really, this is the achievement of credit unions and credit union organizations that wanted to support a terrific organization that is meeting the needs of severely injured service members.
Raising $161,000 in nine months — and a good chunk of that total coming in less than a week — is the real accomplishment. That accomplishment belongs to each of you, and will provide hope today and in the future to soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines who have given so much for their country.
From the time we began the this journey in Fayetteville and all the way to Jacksonville at the end, TLG was warmly received and thanked. Our only wish is that the many people who believe in this cause and supported it so generously could have been along for the ride — because all the thanks belong to you.