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thedrifter
06-02-07, 07:47 AM
Bikers hitting road to support the troops
By Karen Jowers - Staff writer
Posted : Friday Jun 1, 2007 17:17:21 EDT

Bikers — both the kind that use pedal power and the kind that use fossil fuel — are hitting the road June 2 to kick-start awareness of, and raise money to support, wounded troops as well as the families of fallen service members.

Vietnam veteran Rob Rodweller of Silver Spring, Md., will start a bicycle trek Saturday in San Francisco, and plans to end 52 days later in Portsmouth, N.H., with stops along the way. To date, he has raised nearly $15,625 for the Fisher House Foundation, which builds “comfort homes” to lodge families of service members and veterans recuperating from illness or injury. He is still accepting donations.

The retired information technology executive vividly recalls coming back from Vietnam and said, “Nobody should have to go through that. Because of my experiences, I believe it is extremely important to provide support to those who have risked their lives serving in the armed forces.”

Rodweller is footing the bill for all his expenses related to the cross-country trek. More information is available at his Web site.

Across the country in Jacksonville, Fla., the 10,000 Mile Ride hits the road on Saturday, with motorcyclists riding through 29 states in 20 to 30 days and returning to Jacksonville. Their goal is to raise money and support for organizations that provide direct assistance to severely wounded troops and their families, and families of the fallen. Their Web site has links to the organizations for those who want to donate. Those who want to join the ride along the way can also find information there about the itinerary.

Bikers expect to cover about 400 to 500 miles daily, with at least three stops for refueling and rest each day.

Among the organizations the riders are promoting are Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes, Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, Wounded Warrior Project, Wounded Warriors Fund, Blinded Veterans of America, Fisher House Foundation, Homes for Our Troops, Angels of Mercy Program, Paralyzed Veterans of America, National Amputation Foundation, Help Hospitalized Veterans and Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund.

Ellie