White House to Lighthouse Challenge

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On Thursday, April 30, 2009, participants in the Wounded Warrior Project’s Soldier Ride gathered again on the South Lawn of the White House for the Third Annual White House to Lighthouse Challenge.

President Barack Obama, joined by Senator John McCain, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Ken Shinseki and Assistant Secretary of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs Tammy Duckworth, requested the presence of the wounded warriors, their family members and many supporters as he delivered a speech in their honor and then officially launched the three-day White House to Lighthouse Challenge.

After Soldier Ride was launched by President Obama and cheered on by family members, friends and supporters, the wounded warriors cycled a lap around the South Lawn before taking the streets of Washington, D.C. Among the many who were cheering were Executive Vice President (EVP) Bob Willson, Area District Vice President (ADVP) Chuck Hertzler (District 10), Marketing Company Presidents (MCP) Patrick Goodwin, UHC of Metro D.C. (Co. 818), Michael Lowe, UHC of Baltimore (Co. 820), Wayne King, UHC of Northern Virginia (Co. 795), Executive Assistant (EA) Henry Kotoriy, UHC of Metro DC and Shop Manager Kwa’bena Edwards, Hyattsville Rers (Shop 248).

U-Haul System members, family and friends from Co. 818, Co. 820 and Co.795 welcomed wounded veterans and their families during this year’s White House to Lighthouse Challenge pre-kickoff barbecue dinner celebration at the Takoma Park U-Haul Center. In honor and support of Soldier Ride, EVP Willson and ADVP Hertzler helped pass out patriotic T-shirts to each of the riders on behalf of U-Haul. With excellent food, festive music and patriotic decorations, a good time was had by all.

Soldier Ride began the next day’s White House to Lighthouse Challenge from Andrews Air Force Base and cycled to Annapolis. During the ride, MCP Goodwin and System members from UHC of Metro DC followed the ride in a Soldier Ride truck and passed out power bars, snacks and refreshments at rest stops along the route. The final day of the White House to Lighthouse Challenge brought Soldier Ride through the United States Naval Academy (USNA) campus and then along Chesapeake Bay, finishing in the heart of Annapolis. At the end of the three-day challenge, Soldier Ride participants had cycled a total of 75 miles, conquering the 2009 White House to Lighthouse Challenge.