Next mission for vets: Taking on the W100K with President George W. Bush

Julia LeDoux
July 23, 2019 - 1:25 pm
George W. Bush with bikers

Bush Insitute

Do you think you could keep up with former President George W. Bush on a 100-kilometer mountain bike ride?

The challenge is there for service members injured in the Global War on Terror; wounded warriors are invited to apply to join 'W' on the strenuous ride later this year on his ranch in Crawford, Texas.

Known as the W100K,  the bike ride takes place Nov. 8 and 9. The event is part of the Bush Institute’s Military Service Initiative.

“We are big believers in highlighting the service of our Global War on Terror veterans,” said Marine Col. Matt Amidon, who has been with the Military Service Initiative for six years.

Biker giver thumbs up
Bush Institute

Amidon said the initiative includes the Stand-To Veteran Leadership program, which focuses on helping military families transition to civilian life. Team 43 Sports hosts athletic events for wounded warriors such as golf tournaments and the W100K. The Warrior Wellness Alliance brings together groups engaged in helping vets suffering from PTS.

The bike ride also draws attention to the service, sacrifice, and resilience of post-9/11 warriors and their families, particularly the issues they face in making a successful transition to civilian life – a cause close to the hearts of Bush and his wife, Laura.

President George W. Bush hugs a biker
Bush Institute

“They’ve dedicated the rest of their lives to helping veterans transition to civilian life,” explained Amidon.

Riders quickly learn that their former commander-in-chief has some serious mountain bike riding chops.

“He’s a really capable mountain bike rider,” Amidon said of Bush.

The event also gives riders the opportunity to meet other veterans and share their life stories.

“These are not folks who want to be seen as victims,” said Amidon. “It allows them to get together to showcase who they are.”

To be considered for the ride, applicants must be wounded or injured in post 9/11 service. The wounds can be visible or invisible; active-duty, retired or honorably discharged; and be an intermediate to advanced mountain bike rider.

The 2019 W100K will be held Nov. 8 and 9.  Applications  are open through July 31.

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