In the middle of nowhere in southern New Mexico, Army Col. (Ret.) Dave Parramore reached a breaking point.
“It was pretty clear I was going no further,” Dave said.
His solo cross-country bike ride to raise support and awareness for injured veterans through Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) came to a screeching halt due to high winds and road debris.
“I had a flat front tire, a flat back tire, and a flat trailer tire,” Dave recalled. “With 40-mile-an-hour winds, it was very difficult to talk on a cell phone.”
Who do you call out there? There aren’t any cabs in Deming, New Mexico; no Uber, either. Dave was stranded.
And it was the best thing that could’ve happened to him.
“The reason I had those flats was to be able to connect with Reggie,” Dave said.
Reggie, a fellow veteran, owned a car service in the area and took Dave to the nearest bike shop in Las Cruces, about 60 miles down the road.
He was exactly the type of person who inspired Dave to take on this cross-country quest: veterans who own a business that has been impacted by the pandemic. Reggie had to lay off several of his drivers during the pandemic. But at least for an hour-long car ride from Deming to Las Cruces, two veterans who just met were able to connect and share stories like they had been lifelong friends.
“That was one of the most impactful experiences along the ride,” Dave said.
Dave eventually got back on the road and coursed his way across every type of landscape in the Southern half of the country.
“It’s vast territory,” Dave said. “I remember riding two days without seeing a stoplight. It felt like I was an extra in an episode of Gunsmoke in Arizona.”
Whether it was on the beach in California, the desert in Arizona, the hills of Texas, or anywhere in between, Dave was able to stay connected with his supporters by livestreaming parts of his ride to his Twitch channel.
“We were able to connect with veterans in ways that we couldn’t possibly imagine,” Dave said. That was the theme of the whole ride. It wasn’t about the miles or the money; it was about meaningful relationships — the connections built with the “Reggies” of the world.
“We’ve come to a place where many of us are self-reliant, where we think we can solve our own problems,” Dave said. “But the power in this journey was there’s more power in asking for help. To the extent that we say, ‘No, I don’t want you to help, I’ve got this,’ I think we rob them of the joy of giving.”
Dave is helping countless WWP warriors and their families through his efforts, and you can join him by visiting his page here.
Contact: Chris Obarski — Public Relations, email@example.com, 904.570.0823
About Wounded Warrior Project
Since 2003, Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) has been meeting the growing needs of warriors, their families, and caregivers — helping them achieve their highest ambition. Learn more.