Winston Fisher, Captain of Team Intrepid Fallen Heroes, spoke with KMZU’s Mike Stone about the upcoming 32nd Annual Race Across America.
Winston Fisher says not all wounds suffered during war are visible.
The Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund is raising funds to build state of the art medical centers at military bases across America.
This Saturday a group of eight bicyclists known as Team Intrepid Fallen Heroes will leave from Oceanside, California and travel 3,000 miles across the nation to Annapolis, Maryland during the 32nd annual Race Across America. This trip goes through 12 states climbing over 170,000 vertical feet and is considered the world’s harshest endurance athletic event.
Team Intrepid Fallen Heroes plans to make this trek in just six days and hopes to raise $600,000 and awareness for thousands of military service members suffering from PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury.
The money raised will go toward building Intrepid Spirit Centers at military bases across the country to assist in diagnosing and treating American service members without keeping them away from their families and units.
Press Release From Intrepid Fallen Heroes
Next week, on June 14th teams competing in the 32nd Annual Race Across America will leave Oceanside, CA, and bike for 3000 miles, through 12 states and 88 counties, heading towards the finish line in Annapolis, MD. One of those teams’ plans on making the ride in just six days in order to raised funds and awareness for the hundreds of thousands of American service members suffering from Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Post Traumatic Stress (PTS).
The eight riders of Team Intrepid Fallen Heroes intend to raise at least $600,000 for the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, which has embarked on a mission to build nine Intrepid Spirit Centers at military bases and medical centers across the country to diagnose and treat soldiers with TBI and PTS without separating them from their units and families, something doctors say is critical to their care.
As they make the trip from coast to coast, country song “Ghosts In His Eyes” by Jamie Lee Thurston is being launched at radio stations along the way, to honor America’s Veterans and inspire the America public to contribute to the teams effort. The song details the difficult and emotional journey many of our service members experience when coping with TBI and PTS. (Song is available in other formats.)
The design and mission of the Intrepid Spirit Centers are based on the original National Intrepid Center of Excellence (NICoE), opened in 2010 at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. Built by the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund and operated by the Department of Defense, NICoE is the most advanced facility of its kind in the country, and is the center of the Armed Forces’ efforts in researching, diagnosing and treating TBI, PTS and related injuries and illnesses sustained by military personnel. Thousands of American service members have received some form of diagnosis or treatment from NICoE in the past four years.
Two Intrepid Spirit Centers are already operating in Ft. Belvoir, Virginia and Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, and have treated over 1,000 service members since opening in July and August of 2013. Two additional centers are currently under construction in Ft. Campbell, Kentucky and at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina.
Each center will be 25,000 sq. ft. and cost $11 million to build. Upon completion, the Intrepid Spirit Centers are gifted to the Department of Defense for their use in diagnosing and treating returning service members.
Experts say the centers can’t come soon enough, with hundreds of thousands of troops dealing with some form of TBI or PTS from their deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. They are injures that never heal, and so early diagnosis, treatment and therapy are the only known routes to restoring normal cognitive function. Those who struggle with TBI and PTS can live lives plagued by unemployment, substance abuse, anger and incarceration. The extraordinarily unfortunate commit suicide.
“We are just beginning to understand the trauma inflicted on the human brain by concussions caused by combat, and these centers are already doing incredible good for our military men and women,” said Winston Fisher, Captain of Team Intrepid Fallen Heroes . “We are racing for them – our service members who have already made incredible sacrifices for us and our freedom. Riding 3,000 miles on a bicycle will be nothing compared to what they have endured for us.”
Touching 12 states, 88 counties and climbing over 170,000 vertical feet, RAAM is considered to be the world’s harshest endurance athletic event. Teams spend months before the event training and building endurance to propel themselves 24/7, coast-to-coast, for 3000 milies, over the Rockies and Appalachians, and through rain, wind, desert heat and possibly snow at elevations over 10,000 feet.
Team Intrepid Fallen Heroes wants to help those services members suffering from the invisible wounds of war, and they are willing to go the distance to prove it.