By Richard Rhinehart
Arlington, Virginia, April 24, 2012 – The legacy of Corporal Jim “Seamus” Garrahy will be honored at World T.E.A.M. Sports’ Face of America ride April 27-29 with two Marine Corps guest speakers kicking off the event.
The Face of America is the annual inclusive bicycle ride from World T.E.A.M. Sports that brings together wounded warriors, active and retired military and civilians for a 110-mile journey from the Pentagon to the historic battlefields of Gettysburg. The event honors the commitment and sacrifices of our nation’s wounded warriors, and provides an opportunity for inspiration among participants and spectators.
A veteran Marine who retired in 1968 but served as the proud host for numerous military-related events at his Gettysburg farm, including the Face of America, Corporal Garrahy fought hard in his battle against cancer, but passed in early January of this year. In honor of the Corporal, and his tireless support and dedication to service men and women, Lieutenant General Richard P. Mills, the Deputy Commandant for Combat Development and Integration, will provide the keynote address to the nearly 500 ride participants on Friday evening at DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Washington DC-Crystal City in Arlington.
The Huntington, New York native has served in operations in Iraq, Somalia, Bosnia, Italy and Germany. He has studied at the Royal College of Defense Studies in London, and has commanded the 1st Marine Division. Lieutenant General Mills is the first Marine Corps General Officer to command NATO forces in combat action. At present, he serves as the Deputy Commandant for Combat Development and Integration.
On Saturday morning, April 28, Sgt. Maj. Bryan B. Battaglia, the Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, will provide brief remarks to the participants prior to the start of the ride. As the senior non-commissioned officer in the U.S. Armed Forces, Sgt. Maj. Battaglia is the principal military advisor to the Chairman and to the Secretary of Defense on all matters including enlisted personnel.
A New Orleans native, Sgt. Maj. Battaglia joined the Marine Corps in 1979 and has had deployments worldwide, including the Persian Gulf War, Norway, Cuba, Great Britain and southwest Asia. His awards include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star w/Combat V and one gold star, Purple Heart, Navy Commendation Medal with one gold star, Navy Achievement Medal with 2 gold stars, and the Combat Action Ribbon.
The 2012 Face of America Ride is presented by Capital One, and sponsored by American Portfolios, Booz Allen Hamilton, General Electric, Penske Truck Rental, Revolution Cycles and Raleigh America, Subway of the Bethesda Naval Hospital and Frito-Lay, and Veterans Corps of America. Funds raised through the event cover the costs of the event and the participating wounded warriors, and help fund upcoming World T.E.A.M. Sports events such as the Sea to Shining Sea cross-country ride this May 28-July 28.
The Face of America ride has been held annually since 2006, after beginning as a cross-country bicycle ride with the disabled in 2000. In September 2002 and 2003, the event was held as a New York to Washington ride in memorial of the victims of the 9/11 attacks on America. Beginning in 2006, World T.E.A.M. Sports redirected the ride to a Washington to Gettysburg course.