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To the town of Amarillo and the volunteers of the W100K

May 1, 2012 by George W. Bush Presidential Center

I want to begin by thanking you for allowing us to have the W100K in Amarillo. The Palo Duro Canyon is by far the best trail system I have ever ridden, and that is something coming from a Coloradoan. I would like to personally thank whoever was in charge of the weather on Friday and Saturday. Overall, I couldn’t imagine a better location for the W100K than the Palo Duro Canyon. The Texas Parks and Wildlife organization has done an amazing job in the upkeep of the trails. 

Most importantly, I want to thank each and every volunteer that came out for the W100K. I met people from all over Texas that came from hours away to spend their time helping us. The warriors must have been outnumbered by volunteers 15 to 1 during the event. I honestly believe if President Bush and I asked for a drink at the same time, that I would have one in my hand first, it would be colder and I would have 4 flavors to choose from. Please believe that is not a knock on President Bush’s staff, he has the most efficient and professional young men and women I have ever met helping him, it is simply meant as extremely high praise for the volunteers!

I can’t speak for every warrior at the W100K, but most of us are just as, if not more competitive than before we were injured. When we see a hill we want to know if we can climb it and if we can climb it faster than before we were hurt. At every steep climb on the ride (and there were many) there were 2 to 4 volunteers that had been waiting in the sun for hours so that when we rode by we could ask for a push if we knew we weren’t going to make it. Even more importantly, they were willing to let us crash into the cactus filled ledges bellow so that we could compete with the limits of our injuries and see what we were capable of. For me, the W100K pushed my limits further away than any event I have participated in since my injuries and that has a lot to do with the caliber of the volunteers and their incredible demeanor towards us.

I was never asked about my scars, or what it was like in Iraq, but every volunteer asked where I was from and what I was doing now. I was never encouraged to skip a part of the trail, but I was always encouraged to do my best and see what I was capable of. These subtleties made the W100K an amazing environment for the warriors and their families, and it had everything to do with the people. I hope the town of Amarillo and the volunteers of the W100K are extremely proud and understand how far their efforts went in making this wounded warrior event unique from any other.

My most profound appreciation and gratitude to everyone that came out.

Joshua Chinn

SSG (R) USA

Denver, Colorado

P.S. Special thanks to Garry, Nancy, Dean and Mark. AKA Team Josh.

 


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George W. Bush Presidential Center

PRESERVING HISTORY

GEORGE W. BUSH PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY AND MUSEUM

As the 13th presidential library, the Bush Library and Museum promotes an understanding of the American presidency, examines the specific time in history during which President Bush served, and provides access to official records and artifacts from the Bush Administration.

SHAPING THE FUTURE

THE GEORGE W. BUSH INSTITUTE

The Bush Institute is an action-oriented, nonpartisan policy organization that cultivates leaders, fosters policies to solve today’s most pressing challenges, and takes action to save and change lives. Our work is inspired by the principles that guide President and Mrs. Bush in public life.

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