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Think of groups that think of vets like John

Date published: 11/20/2012

Recently, I had the honor of participating in the Patriot Guard Riders motorcycle escort of Marine Sgt. John Peck from the Walter Reed hospital in Bethesda, Md., down to his new home in Spotsylvania County ["House built to fit a wounded Marine," Nov. 16]. This was my first PGR event and it was truly inspira-tional.

We met John (and his service dog) at Bethesda, and I was impressed with his infectious spirit and how mobile he is in his chair. I continued to be awed watching him maneuver his chair into his specially equipped pickup truck.

It was a crisp and clear morning, and it was a great motorcycle ride with maybe 40 or so bikes. We stopped at two rest areas along the way, picking up about another 60 or so bikes, so it was quite the escort down Interstate 495 and I-95 for this warrior and his mom, Lisa (she's a veteran as well).

The ceremony in front of John's house was heartwarming when he invited two of his fellow wounded Marine buddies to join him on stage. The ceremony, the house, and the superb morning were a wonderful recognition of this warrior's huge sacrifice for our grateful nation.

As mentioned at the ceremony, John Hodge (operations director of the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation) said that his organization, in conjunction with the Gary Sinise Foundation, is building or has built smart homes for all of the five quadruple and 50 triple amputees from Iraq and Afghanistan. It was wonderful to see the community's generosity (I think of Bassett Furniture).

As we are in combined-federal-campaign season, both of these charities, along with other contributors such as the Semper Fi Fund, would certainly appreciate your consideration.

Our heroic veterans will benefit directly from our contributions to these fine organizations.

John Dupras