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Warrior Blog: "We Rode Hard, Met the Challenge"
Marc Hoffmeister wrote the following blog post for the AW2 blog, the official blog for the U.S. Army Wounded Warrior Program:
When John Wordin, director of Ride 2 Recovery, invited me to mountain bike in Texas, I was more than excited at the opportunity. When he informed me that we would be riding with former President George W. Bush, I was speechless. Biking has been one of the greatest means of recovery I’ve had. It brought me freedom from the hospitals, built back my fitness level, and got me back in the fight. And now it brought the opportunity to ride with the president! As an avid mountain biker, I assumed 100 km of trail with the president wouldn’t be all that tough—after all, he’s not all that young. Fast forward to today as we wrapped up the final miles of the Warrior 100, and I can honestly say the man brought his A-game and he knows how to handle a bike.
Fourteen wounded warriors joined the president at the Lajitas Resort in Big Bend Ranch State Park, Lajitas, TX, for three days of mountain biking, April 25-27, 2011, as part of the George W. Bush Presidential Center’s Social Enterprise Initiative. The event brought together warriors representing the Ride 2 Recovery, World Team Sports, the Challenged Athletes Foundation, and the Wounded Warrior Project to highlight the continuing commitments they have made to support our wounded.
Make no mistake, this was no pleasure cruise. The 100 kilometers of trail was rocky and technical, demanding intermediate to expert level bike handling and a high level of fitness to maintain the demanding pace set by the president and his special guest, Lance Armstrong. Between the two of them and the dry desert heat along the Mexican border, all of us had our work cut out for us to keep up the pace. But we met the challenge head on, just as we’ve maintained our strength of purpose in recovering from our wounds—there was no way we were going to be dropped by the President, so we rode hard and met his challenge.
The Warrior 100 was a once in a lifetime experience which reminded me how strong our warriors are in their recovery and how incredible the support we have is, literally from the top down. The support for the event was phenomenal as well. Everything was thought of and perfectly coordinated; lodging, food, transportation, bike maintenance. It was obvious how professionally the president’s staff had planned and executed this event. It was a privilege I will not forget and an experience I hope others will share as well. The president stated the goal is to repeat this event in the future, but first you have to get back on the bike.
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.Full Bio
The 2017 Warrior Open in Photos
The 2017 Warrior Open reunited past Team 43 members for a weekend of golf and camaraderie. Most importantly, they told the stories of their journeys since returning home.
Invisible Wounds: Hearing from a Father Who Lost His Son to an Invisible Injury
This week, the Bush Center will host its 6th annual W100K, a 100-kilometer mountain bike ride for seriously wounded or injured post-9/11 veterans and military personnel. This event spotlights the effectiveness of sport in helping our service men and women recover from their visible and invisible wounds. Today, we hear from Major General Mark Graham, U.S. Army (Retired), who serves as Senior Director of Rutgers University's Behavioral Health Care National Call Center, about losing one son to a visible injury and another son to an invisible injury. My wife Carol and I discovered the power of connection after the tragic deaths of both of our sons. Just eight months before our oldest son Jeffrey was killed in Iraq by an IED, we lost our younger son Kevin to suicide. We knew our son, Kevin was sad, we just didn’t know he could die from being too sad. Our sons died fighting different battles. On June 21, 2003 we lost our son K
Highlights from the 2016 W100K from Crawford, Texas
President George W. Bush hosted the 6th Annual W100K, a three-day, 100 kilometer mountain bike ride with servicemen and women injured in since 9/11, September 29 - October 1.