Cyclists made a stop in Yadkin County last week as part of a state-wide journey to honor veterans and raise funds for an organization dedicated to ending veteran suicide.
“This is the second year we’ve been able to partner with this group of soldiers who are cycling across North Carolina. The Triple Victor Suicide Awareness Bike Ride remembers and honors the veterans who have lost their lives and raises funds for Mission 22, an organization dedicated to ending veteran suicide and supporting the families impacted by veteran suicide,” said Pastor Jimmy Lancaster of Maplewood Baptist Church in Yadkinville.
Maplewood hosted the riders during their stop in Yadkin County.
The Triple Victor Veteran Suicide Awareness Ride is a 417-mile journey from the Tennesse-North Carolina border to the Jannette pier on the East Coast. Over the first four days of riding, riders will complete four 22-mile segments, followed by a fifth day with three 22-miles segments and a final 16-mile reflection ride. The 22-mile segments symbolize the average number of military veterans, past and present, who commit suicide. The riders will stop at the end of each 22-mile segment to pay remembrance to a fallen veteran.
Church members praised the group for taking part in drawing awareness to the plight of veteran suicide.
“The bikers that visited Maplewood Baptist Church are biking to bring awareness to veterans suicides. The rate has been climbing among civilians and veterans and I was humbled to hear the motivation behind their biking across North Carolina. Most of the bikers had friends who had committed suicide and even one whose 11-year old son had committed suicide. Their efforts are admirable and very humbling,” said Pat Lancaster.
Danny Watts added, “as we are facing all the difficulties of life, there are many among us, veterans and civilians, who become so overwhelmed that they take their own life. I’m so thankful for this group of guys, mostly active duty military, who have decided to bring awareness to this sad reality. As they ride their bikes across NC, they stop every 22 miles to pray for veterans and for the families of those who have taken their life. The least we can do as they work to reduce the number of suicides is to offer shelter for their journey and prayer for their efforts.”
Church member Curtis Carmack reflected on the value of life and the “courage and willingness of these men to defend life” by taking part in the awareness ride. Carmack called it “inspiring and a cause worth getting behind.”
“The names and faces of the men and women that they have lost, that they carry on their shoulders is a tragedy, but they fight on still to let others know that life is truly worth living and that hope is on the other side of the valley that they currently find themselves in,” Carmack said.
To learn more about the Triple Victor ride visit https://triplevictorsports.com/ops22
Kitsey Burns Harrison may be reached at 336-258-4035 or on Twitter and Instagram @RippleReporterK.