The mission of our flagship WARRIOR ATHLETE program is to give back to our Warriors that have made the ultimate sacrifice for this country and our freedom. In good keeping with our primary mission, we are proud to announce the inception of TEAM Semper Fidelis & Wellness, a Volunteer Initiative in partnership with Richard Stewart of TestaDellaCorsaCycling.org. We are honored to have Richard on board- he is an Airforce Veteran, former head of the Armed Forces Cycling Association and an elite level cycling coach/race team builder who is now committed to our mission.
If you a Wounded Warrior Athlete and wish to participate on TEAM SFHW
Richard Stewart, Founder TEAM SFHW & TestaDellaCorsaCycling.org
Some Words From Richard Stewart-TEAM Semper Fidelis Health & Wellness Founder
"I am excited about working with our Wounded Vets and Active Duty too as they make the transition and deal with their injuries, be they physical, emotional or spiritual. My first experiences with our wounded personnel came about during my Blue Suit Pacers Team sponsoring Christopher "Frosty" Frost a couple of years ago. He had lost a lower leg in an IED attack on an Army unit with which he was on patrol, and after trying a standard road bicycle, he opted for a CatTrike http://www.catrike.com after coordinating with the owner of the company. Last February, I was contacted by the CEO of World T.E.A.M. (The Exceptional Athlete Matters) Sports http://worldteamsports.org regarding supporting their First Annual Sea-To-Shining Sea (S2SS) California to Virginia ride sponsored by State Farm Insurance. After meeting with the Mr. Jeff Messner, I felt called to serve by creating a pre-ride logistics chit sheet and procured all the necessary tires and tubes, extra wheelsets, helped wounded personnel select and purchase bikes/trikes/hand cycles, et al, and was then asked to be the initial Ride Leader for the event. Although I had to return to my home due to elder care issues with my Dad (nursing home about 15 miles due west of Cherry Point MCAS), I had to unique opportunity to support 17 wounded warriors including vetting college-aged interns who felt led to volunteer during their summer breaks. Last April and just prior to the Sea To Shining Sea preps and first week (from The Presidio to South Lake Tahoe), I spent the two days of Face of America (D.C. Reflecting Pool to Gettysburg National Park) riding with and showing my hand cyclists, support riders, and World T.E.A.M.'s staff that their riders would be ready for the cross-country journey.
The focus of TestaDellaCorsaCycling.org is coaching, mentoring, advising, consulting for Wounded Veterans. I cannot in good conscious expect any of them to pay for a service that I want to share with them and honor their sacrifices for our country.
To that end, I stand ready to assist and provide a gap-filler for any cycling or other endurance sports (we had a couple of wounded warrior triathletes on the S2SS), as well as off road/mountain biking skills which I gained racing and coaching in Germany (Silver Medalist at U.S. Forces Europe MTB Championships in Garmisch-Partenkirchen.
I hail from North Carolina (New Bern and Kinston area), and am familiar with the Fort Bragg/Pope AFB area as I led a couple of pre-Sea to Shining Sea training rides out of Bragg. One of my S2SS riders, Eric Frazier, former USMC'er, also lives in Camp Lejuene and he is one of the fellas I'll be maintaining close working relationship with over the course of our lives. Additionally, I have several lifetime sponsors which will allows me to help wounded warriors purchase/use state of the art power measuring tools such as Power Tap, clothing from Champion Systems (NY), tires from Schwalbe, Gore Rideon sealed cable systems, among others.
My ambition is to go full-time on my coaching over the course of the next several months, allowing me to spend more time with our wounded men and women and their friends and families as your organization continues to grow and fill those gaps in their rehabilitative therapy and overall health and well-being.
In addition to working one-on-one with wounded personnel for their cycling needs and goals, I'd also believe it would beneficial and provide camaraderie and community awareness and involvement to to get a rider roster of personnel so I can contact them and find out who wants to ride, the details of their cycling needs, and have at least two multiple-rider group rides out of locations amenable to those personnel/family members. Due to the nature of their wounds, most utilize hand cycles, recumbent trikes, etc. which lend to slower (and honestly saner) speeds while out riding. That lends to more family involvement for those types of rides, and creates a very strong family/friends bond when the athletes are riding.
I am honored to have a role in your outstanding support service to those in need. My thanks to the both of your for this opportunity to be a part of something so meaningful and to give of my cycling experiences to our fellow men and women in uniform.
Semper Fi and God Speed,
Richard Frazier Stewart