Name: Tim Gray
Your Phone: 915-309-5599
City: El Paso
I heard about this ride for many years and this was my first chance to take part in it. I knew the guys from the Hydration team and without them I would not have been able to make the run. Thanks to Gary Burd and all of the crew. I didn’t plan well and only went on part of the run, well that’s kinda like saying I only got a two ton treasure as opposed to a ten ton treasure. Every single mile and moment on this run is priceless.
I am still active duty and have done my time in the sandbox. I didn’t immediately relate to the struggles, the hurt and the healing I witnessed from so many. What I wasn’t prepared for was the therapeutic value of this ride. So when it started creeping up on me, you can imagine my surprise. I place a lot more value on this run from my new perspective. I had no idea how strong the bonds of this family are. Within the confines of these riders and the platoons, there is safety to expose pain and suffering, probably long overdue to be let go. And just as important are those individuals that stand shoulder to shoulder with you and won’t let you down.
I lost a friend that I had deployed with numerous times, just a short 12 days before the run — he was 46, and had a lot of hurt inside that he carried with him. I wish he had been with us. And I am sure most of you know why.
I want you to know that I am hooked and excited about “The Run.” My wife is a disabled vet, and she literally broke down into tears when I left. Because we have two little ones and she had to take care of them. You might have seen them — Juan and Morgan. They were giving out the candy and the thank you notes while we ate Supper at Barnetts in Las Cruces. The next morning my wife waved a flag from a bridge in El Paso with tears in her eyes as we rolled through.
So needless to say — she will be on the run next year, if it means I stay home to be Mr. mom. (yeah right!) We will have it planned out and we will both be able to enjoy everyone’s company. She is in for a big surprise! My prayer is that we can do as much for some of you as you have done for others.
Thanks to the road guards who gave me the thumbs up while I focused everything I had to not be the FNG with the brake lights on.
SFC(P) Tim “The Infidel” Gray