Inaugural 10K Bike Ride

Inaugural 10K Bike Ride

By: Will Schroeder, NWLB Director

Thank you to the riders, officers, veterans, sponsors and volunteers who came together to make the inaugural event possible.

When is the last time that you touched someone in a uniform? Did you shake a police officer’s hand? How about an Army nurse in the Metro station?  Did you really connect on Veteran’s Day?

Maybe your uncle serves in the military.  Maybe your sister is an EMT.  If so, you understand that police officers, firefighters and veterans are family and you can hug them.  Perhaps, your neighbor serves at the Navy Yard or works at the Pentagon.  As you go about your routine, do you just smile and wave as you go by?

Today, please ask yourself: when is the last time that you really looked beyond the uniform, the badge, or the injury to understand better the courage it takes to serve your country, your community.

No Warrior Left Behind, Inc. (“NWLB”) is a new non-profit organization in Montgomery County composed of veterans, police and fire fighters, nurses and “civilians” who want to help serve wounded warriors and injured first responders.  NWLB wants to start a conversation and make more meaningful connections.  Officer Aaron Bailey is a Montgomery County police officer and founder of NWLB.  His goal is to bring first responders and military service men and women together with a common cause of improving the lives of wounded veterans.

On November 7, 2015, NWLB launched its first annual 20K ride for wounded veterans and community volunteers in conjunction with the Corporate Volunteer Council of Montgomery County (CVC) and its Workforce For Good Service Project Leaders, the law firm of Shulman Rogers and the accountants at DeLeon & Stang. The motto for the day was “A race for warriors, a ride for everyone”.

My ten year-old daughter volunteered at the ride.  She met a lot of veterans, including Omar Duran.  Omar Duran is the President of NWLB and he was wounded physically and mentally while serving in Afghanistan.  When he approaches you in his wheelchair, the first thing you notice is Omar’s smile.  My daughter was really shy at first, but Omar made her smile too.  I don’t think she had ever been so close to a wounded veteran before.  She enjoyed helping the ride be so successful.  Standing in the rain on the last lap, we cheered Omar and the other veterans and riders as they passed along Park Potomac Avenue.  We talked and celebrated the ride with Omar, Officer Aaron Bailey and others at Wine Harvest afterward.

What did you do to celebrate Veteran’s Day?  Next year, please come ride with veterans.

Watch Washington NBC Channel 4 Coverage of the ride!

Event Date - 07 November 2015

Mission K.O.

In November 2016, NWLB learned that retired officer and marine Kyle Olinger was struggling in his new home in Arizona.  Kyle Olinger sustained his injuries breaking up a car theft in 2003.  After being shot in the neck, Officer Olinger continued to serve the Montgomery County Police Department until his retirement in 2012.  When he relocated to Arizona, he realized he could not see his property and struggled with his health and mental outlook. Responding to a call from his wife, NWLB organized a fundraiser and reached out to Howe and Howe Technologies, Inc. to order and personalize an all-terrain wheelchair (“Rip Chair”) for Office Olinger.  With the assistance of the Gary Sinise Foundation, NWLB and Aaron Bailey delivered the new Rip Chair to his family in December 2017, and Officer Olinger is very thankful and excited for the gift of mobility.  Kyle and his family thank everyone who supported this important mission and NWLB especially thanks Tony Tuolo from Howe & Howe and Rose Borisow GraFX for their contributions as well.

Click here to watch Kyle rock in his new RIP Chair!