UPDATE: A previous version listed the wrong organization that donate the motorcycle to Adams. It has been updated to reflect the correct organization which is Combat Hero Bike Build.
WOODLAND PARK, Colo. — Saturday was the 30th annual Veterans Rally and the 35th annual POW/MIA Recognition Ride. In the afternoon, they unveiled something special for veterans as well.
That morning, the roar of hundred of motorcycles on their way to Cripple Creek filled the parking lot at Woodland Park High School.
“The highway that goes into Cripple Creek is POW/MIA,” said Keith LaMee, American Legion Post 5 member and US Army veteran.
This stands for prisoners of war-missing in action, which was one of the themes from Saturday.
“The guys that didn’t come home, the girls that didn’t come home, those are the heroes to us,” said Afghanistan war veteran, Sean Adams. “We made it back.”
But, military hero and US Marine Corps. Cpl. Adams barely made it back.
“Went to Afghanistan in 2011, going into 12. I got blown up on February 10th,” he said.
Adams lost both of his legs above the knee and two of his fingers to an IED while on a reconnaissance mission.
“I saw different signatures on the ground. We started pushing forward. There were two combatants that were following us to our west, our northwest side, and they kept bounding and moving… We assumed they were trying to set us up for an ambush which was okay with us. We wanted to play anyway,” Adams said with a chuckle.
For his sacrifice, the Combat Hero Bike Build donated a motorcycle to him during Saturday’s rally.
“World War II veterans, POWs have ridden this bike with different memorial rides,” Adams said. “It’s actually really neat to see the dynamic of the bike is more than just a bike.”
The event also honored 98-year-old World War II veteran Ed Beck.
“I was in the Infantry and got captured in the Battle of the Bulge,” Beck said.
He was a POW for about six months.
“I got a pair of wire cutters and my friend… ‘What are you going to do?’ I said: ‘I’m going home’. He says, ‘you’re going to die’.”
They ended up escaping and making it to a city not too far away that had just surrendered to American troops.
Overall, this event is about thanking all veterans.
“Proud to be an American soldier,” Beck said. “That’s all.”
“I went into the Army in ’77. There was still a lot of animosity towards the military,” LaMee said.
As the event this weekend grows each year, LaMee said this is evidence of more people supporting the military.
“Like that little snowball you roll down the hill that gets bigger… and that’s what’s happening with this.”