An expression of gratitude towards those volunteering to serve in our Armed Forces is an appropriate gesture. Veterans wounded and injured in combat, must not be ignored and discarded as trash once they arrive home.
My father was spat upon. Body waste was thrown at him by American citizens protesting a war he was sent to fight in. At age 18 he was drafted into military service. He served honorably and courageously, being awarded a Purple Heart Medal for wounds sustained in combat.
Transcending those dark deeds and days, the recent Wounded Warrior Bicycle Riders arriving at VFW Post 10211 in Key Largo were treated to a respectful and enthusiastic welcome from a grateful community.
Along with appreciative citizens encouraging these riders from the shoulder of US 1; a contingent of Fire, Rescue, EMT's and other first responders from a multitude of departments greeted these injured and disabled warriors on their ride to Key West. They stood at the ready to provide these cyclists with assistance for any emergent situation. They generated an energetic boost and uplift for these riders as they set out to complete their journey. FKEC provided an inspirational flag display and fresh sparkling water.
Sheriff Rick Ramsay and his magnificent deputies protected and guided these Purple Heart Riders on the highway. Law-Enforcement Officers from a multitude of agencies filled in all the gaps.
State Attorney Dennis Ward has been instrumental in maintaining this therapeutic and restorative event for our Wounded Warriors. Without his supervision and coordination this happening would have ceased to exist for us. His compassion and respect for these injured veterans are clearly evident.
John Donnelly and John Dick have given much in support of this ride. They're both combat veterans and inspirational advocates in their respective communities. As a Wounded Warrior himself, Mr. Donnelly rides with his Purple Heart comrades each year. His reassurance and leadership provides them with additional comfort and strength.
Maintaining this ennobling activity for those who've given so much, is fitting and just. Without such sacrifices, the personal liberties we enjoy today would have perished a long time ago.
Sandy Martin, Key Largo