By Sara Brown
On Sunday, May 20, over 6,000 motorcycle enthusiasts are expected to show their support for combat veterans at the 8th Annual Boston Wounded Vet Run, a 90-minute motorcycle ride through Malden, Melrose, Wakefield, Saugus, Revere and East Boston to raise money in support and honor of severely wounded military veterans, Captain Greg Galeazzi, Sergeant Brandon Korona, Sergeant Peter Rooney and Corporal Brian Johnston. Those that want to take part but prefer not to ride can meet motorcycle riders, this year’s honorees and New England veterans at the closing ceremony at Suffolk Downs – beginning at 2:30 p.m. – featuring music, food, a beer tent and guest speakers.
The event each year aims to raise money for four New England Veterans who were recently severely injured in overseas combat. The run starts at Boston Harley-Davidson in Revere and ends at Suffolk Downs in East Boston for a ceremony and events. Expect traffic delays during the run from the morning hours in and around Rte. 60 in Revere and Linden Square in Malden for the staging and along the route and American Legion Highway in East Boston. The rain date for the event is Sunday, May 27.
Andrew Biggio, the founder of Boston’s Wounded Veterans Run, came up with the idea eight years ago when he met someone from the military who just came home from Iraq and needed a new roof for his house. “I thought we should do something for him to get the money he needs,” said Biggio. “Afterwards, I decided this was something we should do every year.”
Biggio says the atmosphere at these events is welcoming and can be really touching to the veterans who are honored. “It’s a good way to welcome them home,” he said. “It’s good for them to know that we don’t forget the sacrifices they have made. We don’t thank them enough.”
Attending this year’s Boston’s Wounded Veterans Run is Hershel “Woody” Williams, who received the Medal of Honor from President Harry Truman for his actions and heroics on Iwo Jima during World War II. “It will be unbelievable to meet him,” said Biggio. “He’s a real hero.”
Biggio plans on doing this event every year as “long as Revere lets me,” he said. “It’s inspiring to see how our annual motorcycle ride continues to grow exponentially each year with more riders, more sponsors and others who want to join in on the festivities at Suffolk Downs hours and hours after our ride ends,” said Biggio. “The four brave veterans we’re honoring fought on our behalf to ensure our freedom and encountered life-impacting results for doing so. The least we can do is ride for them to show how much we value their patriotism and appreciate the sacrifices they made.”
For more information, log on to www.Theyfoughtweride.com.