What a privilege! To place a medal around the neck of a Marine Corps hero. In this case a heroine, with four legs. Peggy, a Belgian Malinois who has retired from duty after a couple of tours in Iraq, was with her owner, a still active two-legged Marine, Josh Jones. They were among the guests at the conclusion of our 4th annual Motorcycle Ride for Charity last Friday.
Peggy has a healthy, happy life thanks to the work of theU.S. War DogsAssociation, one of the beneficiaries of our event. She received from the association, among other things, the veterinary care for which Defense Department funds don’t exist. My enthusiastic greeting from this beautiful dog belied whatever enemy-biting, bomb-sniffing training she had for her military days.
Each year the station stages this event to benefit the Federal Employees Education and Assistance Fund and Friends of Patients at the NIH. Our riders braved some significant rain en route to the finish festivities at Daingerfield Island in Virginia. Their individual contributions were backed by this year’s corporate sponsors, with Carahsoft as our presenting sponsor. Altogether we raised more than $21,000, divided equally among the three organizations.
FEEA is well known to any federal employee who’s ever experienced temporary hardship caused by a personal problem or natural disaster, or who maybe needed help with the cost of a child’s education. Friends of Patients provides priceless transportation, housing and other services to people whose loved ones are undergoing what might be their last shot at life in a clinical trial at the NIH.
Riders, my band of seven federal employees, contractors and a friend, set off from District Harley-Davidson in Gaithersburg Maryland, after a preliminary gathering for getting-acquainted talk over coffee and Danish the dealer put out for us. Then an easy-paced ride through the Montgomery County, Maryland, back roads. Easy paced because it started raining for real and the roads were slick! But after two hours of wet but beautiful roads, we pulled into Daingerfield Island in Alexandria, Virginia. There, the rain having let up, I presented the blown-up “checks” to the three organizations, and we all had lunch (courtesy of ATARC), conversation and parting hugs.
My special thanks to FNNers Bruk Belete, Alena Lisa, Jason Miller, Peter Musurlian, Joel Oxley, Elly Rowe, Zach Shore, Daisy Thornton, Eric White and Jeffrey Wolinsky for technical, logistics and moral support.
If you or your company would like to help the causes next year, please get in touch. We’re already under way.
THANK YOU TO THIS YEAR’S SPONSORS: Touring Bike Presenting Sponsor: Carahsoft Cruiser: CGI Federal, Hi-TouchPR, ManTech, WAEPA Sport Bike: Alethia Labs, Arcfield, Compass Rose Sidecar: Fairfax Radiology Centers; Allen Hill; Stephen G. Charles Lunch sponsor: ATARC Start support: District Harley-Davidson/BMW/Ducati