|Chris Carney at the start of his trek in Montauk, Long Island|
It has been said that character is what you are doing when nobody is looking. Well, greatness is what you do when nobody is pushing. If you want a non-battlefield example, look no further than Chris Carney, who is mounting a Soldier Ride across the nation. Chris intends to spend seven weeks or so riding a bicycle from Long Island, N.Y. to San Diego, raising money for American men and women wounded in war. He’s focusing not on those suffering from minor injuries, but on those stricken by wounds that require long recuperation periods — a year or more. The idea is simple: Give each of these wounded warriors packages that contain a few necessities, find ways to help pay for family members to visit them regularly, and develop computer laboratories at various veterans’ healthcare facilities so wounded vets can prepare for the next stage in their lives.
Nobody asked Chris to do this. He decided to help vets after making a visit to the Walter Reed Medical Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland — a place where many of America’s wounded struggle with injuries and grapple with the challenges of building new lives. He was struck by something that every visitor notices: The men and women in these hospitals often shock and amaze. Rather than complaining about their disabilities, many express greater concern for their comrades in Iraq and Afghanistan, and some even express gratitude for the simple luck of being Americans. Isn’t it time Americans expressed some gratitude to them?
Chris hopes to raise $1 million for these great Americans. I hope listeners to The Tony Snow Show will help exceed that goal. I’ll start with a donation of my own; you can check the Tony Snow Show website for more information on how you can get involved. You can also check Chris’s website — soldierride.com. Either way, get involved. In coming weeks, we’ll keep you posted on Chris’s progress and share a few tales of the veterans he hopes to help.
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