Soldier Ride Washington, D.C. Returns to White House

Wounded Warrior Project®, U-Haul® and other participants of the ninth annual Soldier Ride® Washington, D.C. gathered April 16 on the South Lawn as President Barack Obama prepared to launch the afternoon’s ride, calling it one of the White House’s favorite events of the year.

When his remarks were complete, cyclists circled the White House and took to the streets in the sixth of 33 Soldier Ride events on the 2015 calendar.

“This is my fifth year doing Soldier Ride,” U-Haul Team Member Theophilis Ashong noted. “Working for U-Haul and being able to support wounded veterans has been a great honor and experience for me. I look forward to many more rides in the future.”

U-Haul supports numerous charitable and veteran-friendly organizations, the result of which greatly impacts our Team Members – as several Soldier Ride Phoenix cyclists explained last year.

Soldier Ride Washington, D.C.
From L to R: Prince Baffour, Ruby Huynh, David Kristianson, Anthony Hill, Nick Kirsch, Amanda Kirsch, Abdul Jah, Della Cox, Rammy Azouley, Lawrence Townsend, Thoephilis Ashong, Pat Goodwin, Sebastien Reyes and Nativity Smith.

Cycling with Ashong, a U-Haul preventive maintenance technician, were second-year rider Ruby Huynh (U-Haul van body specialist) and first-time rider Prince Baffour (U-Haul parts specialist). The U-Haul trio joined all of the participants in cycling more than 60 miles through the Maryland and Virginia countryside.

Soldier Ride Washington, D.C
Team U-Haul Cyclists Prince Baffour, Theophilis Ashong and Ruby Huynh with Pat Goodwin on the South Lawn of the White House.

“This is one of my favorite events of the year,” Soldier Ride director Dan Schnock said. “The injured veterans get to visit the White House, Congress and ride through the Maryland and Virginia countryside. None of this could be possible without the support of our founding partner, U-Haul. Not only have they been with us from the beginning, but they have always been an integral part of the D.C. Soldier Ride.

“Big Thanks to U-Haul, its Maryland and D.C. employees and (U-Haul marketing company president) Pat Goodwin for showing our injured service members a great D.C. Soldier Ride,” Schnock added.

In addition to Goodwin and the three U-Haul riders, U-Haul Company of Maryland Team Members who visited the White House included field relief manager David Kristianson; office clerk Anthony Hill; executive assistant Rammy Azouley; general manager Lawrence Townsend; and reservation manager Nativity Smith.

Soldier Ride Washington, D.C.
Team U-Haul Cyclists Prince Baffour and Theophilis Ashong pose with a Wounded Warrior Project team mate during the ride.

Accompanying them from U-Haul Company of Metro D.C. were marketing company president Amanda Kirsch and husband, Nick, and executive assistant Della Cox and husband, Abdul Jah. U-Haul director of external communications Sebastien Reyes also attended the ceremony.

In keeping the longstanding tradition of welcoming the injured service members, their caregivers, and their families, the U-Haul Companies of Maryland and Metro D.C. hosted a dinner at the hotel on April 15 before the ride. Everyone enjoyed a barbecue dinner from Famous Dave’s – it was said to be a favorite part of the trip – and U-Haul Team Members raffled off prizes throughout the evening.

“The U-Haul Companies of Maryland and Metro D.C. really step up every year,” Goodwin said. “Our teams always jump at the chance to be part of the Wounded Warrior Project Soldier Ride Washington, D.C.”

Soldier Ride Washingotn, D.C.
Team U-Haul Cyclist Ruby Huynh (far left) poses with a group from Soldier Ride Washington, D.C.

During a ceremony that evening, Schnock presented Goodwin with a plaque showcasing a 2015 Soldier Ride jersey. The award was presented on behalf of Wounded Warrior Project in honor of the continuous support of U-Haul Company of Maryland and U-Haul Company of Metro D.C. Once dinner finished, U-Haul Team Members joined the Warriors at the National Harbor Screen Plaza for a showing of the “Welcome to Soldier Ride” documentary, which shares the story of how Soldier Ride began.

“Over the years of doing the D.C. Soldier Ride, I have met many great soldiers, veterans and supporters whom I can now proudly call friends,” Goodwin said.

Have you or someone you know been involved with Wounded Warrior Project? Share your experience in the comment box below. To learn more about Soldier Ride, click here.

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