G-A residents can welcome veteran riders to town

Staff Writer
Echo Pilot

Greencastle will be a stopping point for a team of exceptional athletes, many of whom are wounded Iraq and Afghanistan veterans representing all military branches, who departed from the Golden Gate Bridge on Saturday, May 22 for World T.E.A.M. Sports inaugural bike trek across America called Sea to Shining Sea. The goal of Sea to Shining Sea is to honor the courage of our service men and women, recognize the strength of the American spirit and challenge perceptions of how we view athletes. The ride will conclude in Virginia Beach on July 24.

Spanning 63 days and 4,000 miles, the cyclists will test their physical limits and inspire people, disabled or not, to live active and enriched lives. The group will cycle through deserts, mountain passes and historical landmarks providing dramatic proof that disabled Americans can lead productive lives and accomplish feats most people only dream about. Several riders have specially-designed bikes that make it possible for them to participate.

The riders will depart Breezewood around 7 a.m. Sunday, July 18 traveling through Mercersburg and having lunch in Greencastle between 10 and 11 a.m.  From there, the riders will travel on to Gettysburg for a water stop at 3 p.m. and end their day's journey at 5 p.m. in Emmittsburg, Md. Anyone interested in donating to help the riders efforts should go to the Sea to Shining Sea website.

The public is welcome to show their support for the riders along the route as it travels from Breezewood, through Mercersburg, Greencastle, Waynesboro, Fairfield, Carroll Valley, Gettysburg and ending in Emmittsburg.

“These riders are inspiring,” said Fran Kenawell and Ted Mercado, State Farm Agents in Greencastle.

“We are honored to be able to welcome them to our community and encourage everyone to come out and show their support.”

Among the supporters joining the group will be Army Brig. Gen. Arnold N. Gordon-Bray, retired Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Robert Magnus, and Ambassador Paul Bremer, who oversaw the reconstruction of Iraq from May 2003 to June 2004.

 “The selfless service of these warriors, including the injuries they sustained, is evidence of their courage, honor and commitment. Their indomitable will to succeed by completing the daunting Sea to Shining Sea ride is a testament to today's American military men and women,” said retired Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Robert Magnus. “I commend World T.E.A.M. Sports and State Farm for their own commitment to making this great ride possible.”

State Farm is proud to sponsor the Sea to Shining Sea ride across America as a way to show support for service men and women and their commitment to being there for our country. In addition to funding, State Farm agents across the country will be there for all 63 days of the Sea to Shining Sea ride, serving as community coordinators — providing local information, helping with logistics and route planning, and rallying folks to turn out to celebrate the riders along the way.   

For more than 65 years, State Farm has demonstrated its commitment to service men and women through a world-class military leave policy and company programs like the employee Military Affinity Group, Adopt-a-Soldier, the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, and now as presenting sponsor of the Sea To Shining Sea cross-country bike ride.

For more information and to follow Sea to Shining Sea visit s2ssbikeride.org