By Vince Little, The BayonetJuly 10, 2009
FORT BENNING GA -Longtime friends of SPC Andrew Aca,!A"SullyAca,!A? Sullens, a Georgia Army National Guardsman from Dahlonega, Ga., severely wounded in Afghanistan, are organizing a motorcycle ride through the mountains of North Georgia to raise funds for him and his family to help with expenses.
The Sully Run, slated for Aug. 1, will begin and end at Lumpkin County High School, where a family fair is scheduled afterward. Organizers expect more than 300 people to take part in the ride, which will last more than two hours along a route through Lumpkin, Union and White counties.
Sullens, who belongs to a reconnaissance and surveillance troop attached to the Dalton-based 108th Cavalry Regiment, was injured by a roadside bomb May 17 while on patrol, according to his Web site at www.andysullens.com.
The Web site includes updates on SullensAca,!a,,c recovery and a page for guests to leave messages of support.
Ashley Coker and Shane Squires, who attended Lumpkin County High School with Sullens, are coordinating the motorcycle run.
Coker said Sullens suffered burns, knee damage, a compound fracture to his leg and several fractures to his pelvis in the explosion. Three other National Guardsmen from his unit also were wounded.
Sullens underwent multiple surgeries to his pelvis and legs at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, according to his Web site. In late June, he was transferred to Fort Gordon in Augusta, Ga., where heAca,!a,,cs completing physical therapy in the Active Duty Rehabilitation Unit at the Charlie Norwood Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
Aca,!A"ThatAca,!a,,cs one more step closer to getting home. I will end up spending the rest of my rehab there,Aca,!A? Sullens wrote June 21 on his blog. Aca,!A"I still canAca,!a,,ct bear weight on my pelvis until around mid-August, so IAca,!a,,cll still be in a wheelchair for the Sully Run.Aca,!A?
Coker said her husband, Scott, and Squires work with Sully at the Lumpkin County SheriffAca,!a,,cs Office.
Aca,!A"Andrew and my husband are best friends, like brothers,Aca,!A? Coker said. Aca,!A"After he got hurt, we wanted to do something. We thought about doing a concert, but Andy really likes to ride motorcycles, so we decided to do the benefit ride for him.
Aca,!A"It started as a small-town thing and turned into something really big. ItAca,!a,,cs a lot bigger than we thought it would be. WeAca,!a,,cre really excited about it.Aca,!A?
Riders may register for the Sully Run in advance through July 20. The cost is $20 per bike. The fee is $25 the day of the event.
Kurt Thomas, a singer and songwriter from Dahlonega, is scheduled to perform at the festival. Family events include games, a giant slide and moon bounce. Barbecue plates will also be available for purchase.
To sign up for the ride, or for more information, visit www.sullyrun.webs.com.
-- 30 --