After flying in to Las Vegas Wednesday evening, I jumped in a cab and headed over to meet Brett, Woody and the other guys from the Wounded Warrior Project at the Palms Hotel.
We watched a documentary on soldiers coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan. Â I hate to be negative but it had a bunch of technical difficulties and the message wasnt very clear… but even still, I already knew that these men and women coming back from war need our support to recover and get back to as normal as a life as they can. Â Thats exactly why I was here, to ride with these guys and show my support. Â For the past year I have been using Evomo to promote the Wounded Warrior Project and dontated some hats and such when possible. Â The guys really appreciate it and I think its the right thing to do.
Once we wrapped up the 2 hour documentary, we headed up to the Playboy club… to sum this experience up in one word: hott.Â Not many pictures to be taken here… to busy hangin with the guys and lookin at cute Playboy bunnies. These girls are hand picked – no nines working here, only the best for Heff.
After staying out too late (1am) I headed back to the room to get some sleep so I could wake up at 5:30am and be down for breakfast.
We were staying at the Tropicana, which is a fine hotel… one of the originals and that also was evident in their staff and decor. Â I decided to have some French toast, bacon and OJ. Â Well the french toast and OJ were just fine and then the waitress comes back with my “side” of bacon. Â I figured 2 or 3 strips tossed next my french toast would have been great, but no… i got a medium sized mound of bacon… around 16 strips of grease soaked slices of pig – at least! Â So if you love bacon… hit the Garden Cafe at the Tropicana next time you are in Vegas.
All the Soldiers loaded up and headed over to the Bellagio for a ceremony honoring them and to kick off the ride. Â UHAUL is a huge sponsor and donates all the support trucks used to transport the bikes and equipment for all the rides. Â
The Mayor of Las Vegas,Â Oscar B. Goodman, came out to speak and talk with each of the soldiers. Very funny guy.Â
Ryan Trebon and his dad (a former General) came out and Ryan rode along with us. Â Ryan is one tall mountian biker (6 foor 5 inches I believe) and is a National Champion Mountain biker and Cyclocross racer.
The ride started out right on Las Vegas Blvd in front of the Bellagio. Â We had a police escort the whole way out to Red Rock. That was pretty awesome being able to ride down the middle of the Strip on my bike with these guys.
Along the way I did my best to help out where I could as some of these guys have limited mobility. Honestly, it was tough to imagine what they have been through. Â
It really puts perspective on life. Â While we all rush around with our daily lives, complaining about how bad that mocca latte frapaccino was and how theres a ding on my door and why does it take so long to download that pirated movie – these men and women are in a war. Â No matter whether you believe we should or should not be over there in the middle east, these people are risking their lives doing what they are told to do. Â Some are never coming back, others are coming back with their lives forever changed. Some may never walk again.
I think this and I realize how grateful I am that I have a family, a home and a job.
I am also simultaneously frustrated with people who have no idea… who allow greed to run their life. Â These same people actually had the audacity to try to cut in, with their car, our group of cyclists. Â This happened mulitiple times during our ride. Â These people felt they were more important and something so urgent to do that they were entitled to risk hitting a cyclist, a wounded United States Military soldier, just to press on with getting that double bacon cheeseburger or whatever meaningless task they were up to. Â
If anyone should be entitled, its not the person that drives a Mercedez or BMW (which is 1/2 of Los Angeles by the way), its not the person that wears $400 jeans and $100 t-shirts, its not the person that thinks they are better then everyone else… its these soldiers I was riding with. Â They should be entitled to so much more than they are getting. Â They should be set up for life. Â There are so many things I think that some one who goes to war, comes back and has to deal with such as the trauma of injury or mental struggle of coping with death and destruction. Â These are things we do not as everyday Americans deal with and should do our part to show thanks.
I really hope everyone who reads this will pass this on to other people to read so we can all understand how to support our fellow Americans who risk their lives.