The 13th annual Honor Ride for Operation One Voice came to a close Thursday as 35 members of the Operation One Voice Honor Ride Team found the finish like of a 383-mile bike ride. This year's ride honored Medal of Honor recipient Staff Sgt. Ronald Shurer II, who served with the Army's 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne).
MIRAMAR BEACH — A few dozen men, all armed with bicycles, recently honored members of U.S. Special Operations military forces with a nearly 400-mile trek.
On Thursday, the 13th annual Honor Ride for Operation One Voice came to a close as 35 members of the Operation One Voice Honor Ride Team found the finish line of a 383-mile bike ride. The trip started on Sept. 9 at the Fallen Heroes Memorial in Gwinnett County, Georgia, and ended at the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa.
"It's great to ride with other first responders and veterans," said Lance Borman, a retired U.S. Army Green Beret. "The organization is awesome ... (and) takes care of everybody, so it was just an awesome experience."
This year was Borman's second time participating in the ride, and for him, it was a chance to get together with a group of like-minded people to support a good cause.
"I would do it every year if I could," he said.
Operation One Voice is a nonprofit organization founded by Bill Stevens, a retired policeman and firefighter, to raise funds and awareness for the children and families of wounded and fallen members of U.S. Special Operations forces. Those forces comprise military personnel with United States Special Operations Command, U.S. Army Special Operations Command, Joint Special Operations Command, Naval Special Warfare Command, Air Force Special Operations Command and Marine Force Special Operations Command.
"I think that so often we've forgotten after 9/11 what happened and that these soldiers and still fighting the war," Stevens said. "(The Honor Ride is) a good way to tie into 9/11 and get the two groups, public safety and the military, back together."
He added that every year's ride focused on a specific honoree. This year's trip spotlighted Staff Sgt. Ronald Shurer II, a retired member of the Army's 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) and a Medal of Honor recipient.
"It's humbling to meet those guys that are still out there, (and) it's an honor to come down and support the cause," said Shurer, who now works with the U.S. Secret Service.
Shurer was presented with the Medal of Honor in 2018 by President Donald Trump, for his actions during a 2008 firefight in Afghanistan.
Shurer was among the troops involved in a six-hour firefight while going after a "high-value target," he said. The troops were ambushed by 200 enemy fighters, and as the only U.S. medic on the ground, Shurer treated at least 20 different men while under heavy enemy fire.
According to Shurer, cases of people facing struggles as a result of their service can sometimes fly under the radar. Organizations like Operation One Voice offer great opportunities to support the military personnel who keep America safe, he said.
"While there's so much support out there for the military, and the military does a good job of taking care of its soldiers, ... organizations like this come in (and) fill in those gaps," he said.