WASHINGTON -- They're riding to help wounded warriors, and a couple of Army veterans won't let something like a government shutdown slow them down-but their ride has been affected by the national debate that's stalled government.
Tyler Gately with CAUSE, Comfort For American's Uniformed Services, explains Darrel and Roseann Mooney had hoped to end their cross-country bike ride on the National Mall. "They started in Washington state, came almost 4,000 miles and the idea was to have this large celebration in the nation's capital, right there on the National Mall," but because of the shutdown, they had to find another venue for Sunday's celebration and fundraiser.
"Luckily the state and county parks are open. Occoquan Regional Park was nice enough to give us a space on Sunday," Gately says.
Still there's disappointment because a group of wounded warriors from Bethesda's Walter Reed National Military Medical Center had hoped to ride from their facility in Bethesda to the Mall-the original site of the ride's end-and they'd even considered a 70-mile ride to Occoquan and back. But, the government shutdown meant many of the viable routes would be closed. "So they were really bummed about that."
Gately says, "There's been lots of support along the ride that the Mooney's started back in June. Darrel's a Vietnam vet and Roseann spent her career in the military as well," so Gately explains, they don't back down from a challenge. But there have been glitches beyond having to reroute the finish line. "The Mooney's have admitted that the challenge was far greater than they initially thought," Gately says, but they've risen to each issue with grit-and inventiveness-including finding new uses for duct tape when equipment buckled or failed.
The celebration for Warrior Ride takes place Sunday, Oct. 6 at Occoquan Regional Park from 12 to 2 p.m.
If you want to check out the Cause Warrior Ride blog, you can do it here.
And you can follow the CAUSE Warrior Ride on Twitter @TeamWarriorRide
To find out more about CAUSE and how you can help it continue the work it does to help wounded warriors and their families, click here.
Follow @WTOP on Twitter.
© 2013 WTOP. All Rights Reserved.