COLORADO SPRINGS — A group of dedicated motorcycle riders are undertaking a nationwide mission to support fallen military service members who served in the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT).
Members of Project RELO Task Force Tribute are riding across the country for 22 days to honor those who served our country.
“Let’s start putting the band back together and bringing a few of us guys back and do a noble thing for a noble reason and do something no one else is doing,” said Donald Richardson, Military Coordinator for Project RELO.
When their mission is complete, they will have traveled 7,054 miles across the nation with each mile representing a GWOT fallen military member.
“It’s a big country. So we looked at where can you get access to museums where can you get access to military bases where you can do this,” said Richardson.
The journey started on August 21 in Lansing Michigan and will end on September 11 in Washington D.C. An interactive map showing the riders stopping points can be found here.
On Wednesday, members of Project RELO Task Force Tribute stopped by Pikes Peak National Cemetery.
“To be here in beautiful Colorado Springs for this turnout for Task Force Tribute it is a real treat,” said Christian Anschuetz, Executive Director of Project RELO.
Anschuetz said how important it is to speak about one’s military experience or to share the memories of service.
“We found with so many others that this opportunity to share, to tell stories, maybe not about themselves because so many don’t want to talk about themselves,” said Anschuetz. “But talking about others and the experiences that they’ve had with others and the great examples of service and sacrifice gives them a chance to heal.”
During the coast-to-coast journey, the group is working to bring awareness to the digital memorial they are building.
“What we want to produce, and we now have the wherewithal to do it, is to create what is essentially would be an infinite memorial,” said Richardson.
Anschuetz said he hopes the virtual memorial can serve as a platform to showcase past and present military members.
“We also believe that it’s a mechanism for healing and hope for people that otherwise, often because they won’t tell a story about their service, they keep that bottled up and… sadly sometimes to disastrous effect,” said Anschuetz. “We want to create a platform that is about the past but it’s also about the future.”
Donations can be made online to support the creation of the digital memorial.
“My challenge to everybody out there is if you care anything for the military, give one penny, one penny for each soldier, sailor, airman, or Marine that gave their life for you,” said Richardson.
You can submit a military member to the digital memorial online and a member of the Task Force Tribute will contact you.