UD's Blue Hen Veterans will participate in the Face of America bicycle trek later this month.

Bike for vets

Blue Hen Veterans organization to raise funds in bicycle trek

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8:37 a.m., April 2, 2014--Team members representing the University of Delaware student organization Blue Hen Veterans will bicycle from the Pentagon to Gettysburg, Pa., in a fundraising event honoring disabled veterans, first responders and the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. 

The organization hopes to raise $15,000 during the Face of America 110-mile cycling trek to be held April 25-27 in support of upcoming World TEAM Sports events for disabled and able-bodied citizens.

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The annual Face of America event provides an opportunity for all individuals to engage in community-oriented physical activity and promote general well-being.

Jennifer Barnes, team co-captain and a graduate student in the College of Health Sciences, said the event presented a rallying point to pull people together and to gain visibility for the organization.

“We wanted to pick something that would be both meaningful and challenging and would connect with people across campus, in the local community and throughout the state,” Barnes said. “Face of America seemed like the obvious choice.” 

The team includes UD undergraduate and graduate students and alumni, as well as faculty members from Delaware Technical Community College and Wilmington University, Barnes said. 

Face of America strikes a chord with Blue Hen Veterans members because the event empowers disabled veterans, Barnes said.

“Coming from the very physically active world of the military, we recognize the importance of movement and understand how the loss of mobility not only affects people physically, but also cognitively and emotionally,” Barnes said. “Face of America is about giving injured veterans the opportunity and support needed to get back out there in whatever way, shape or form they can.” 

Darrell Wisseman, a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences and team co-captain, said there are about 236 individuals with veteran status attending UD, including some 49 members of Blue Hen Veterans.

“We are here to ensure their success while making a meaningful contribution to the campus community,” Wisseman, who is Blue Hen Veterans vice president, said. “As veterans, we often have unique experiences, skills and world views that are valuable in the classroom and the local community. We also have a vested interest in the success of each student veteran and the campus community as a whole.”

To date, Blue Hen Veterans have raised $4,790. For more information or to contribute, visit the website.

Article by Jerry Rhodes

Photos by Evan Krape and courtesy of Blue Hen Veterans

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