WASHINGTON, D.C. March 28, 2011 – Recognizing the growing participation of disabled and non-disabled veterans in World T.E.A.M. Sports’ annual inclusive ride, General James E. Cartwright, the eighth Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has agreed to speak at the opening ceremonies of the 2011 Face of America Ride in Washington April 16.
America’s second highest-ranking military officer, General Cartwright chairs the Joint Requirements Oversight Council and is Co-Chair of the Defense Acquisition Board. His scheduled remarks at the 7 a.m. opening ceremony for the Face of America Ride at the US Capitol will provide encouragement and honor for the participating riders, including a large number of disabled and non-disabled veterans from across the country.
Commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps in 1971, the Rockford, Illinois native graduated from Naval Aviator training in 1977. A skilled pilot in the F-4, OA-4 and F/A-18, General Cartwright is a graduate of the Air Command and Staff College at Maxwell AFB. He has received a Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island and completed a fellowship with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Joining General Cartwright at the opening ceremonies will be Elk City, Oklahoma native Susan Powell, who served as Miss America 1981. An accomplished singer who has performed with The Boston Pops, Philadelphia Pops and the Tokyo Philharmonic, Ms. Powell will also participate in the ride following the ceremony.
The Miss America Organization has had a long history of supporting America’s military. During World War II, Jean Bartell, Miss America 1943, toured the country selling Series E Bonds. She sold $2.5 million in bonds, more than any other American that year. During the height of the Vietnam War, Jane Anne Jayroe, Miss America 1967, visited the troops in Vietnam, performing in USO shows.
During her tenure as Miss America, Ms. Powell also traveled overseas to visit troops with the USO. Recently, Ms. Powell visited Iraq and Afghanistan and is grateful to participate in this year’s Face of America ride. “To actually be stateside with these incredible heroes and ride with them is divine,” she stated.
Most recently, Ms. Powell hosted “Home Matters” for 12 seasons on the Discovery Channel. An active hiker, runner and camper, Ms. Powell hiked 125 miles of the Appalachian Trail in New Hampshire and Vermont in 2010.
The weekend event begins with the annual World T.E.A.M. Sports’ Face of America dinner at the Hyatt Regency Washington. The 7 p.m. dinner features six year old Malia Thibado, of Pell City, Alabama, performing the National Anthem. Ms. Thibado was born in China in 2004 with congenital glaucoma. This condition left her blind in one eye and nearly blind in the other. Attending kindergarten at the Alabama School for the Blind, the talented Ms. Thibado has previously appeared at the Helen Keller Annual Lecture Series in Alabama, and at the Committee for Purchase for Blind and Severely Disabled People Open House in Washington, D.C. Her appearance at the Face of America is sponsored by the National Industries for the Blind.