Honor ride

On April 1, 2012, in News 2012, by Mark Norris

Bikers celebrate courage, commitment of injured Marine

By Dale L. Anderson, Special to My Life, CommercialAppeal.com
April 1, 2012

Dan Randall, like hundreds of other Mid-Southerners decided that March 24 was a perfect spring day to grab the helmet and head out on the road to feel the wind in his face and the sun on his back as he rode his motorcycle from Collierville to Munford.

But this day was even more special for Randall and those hundreds of other motorcyclists because they were riding to benefit Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Christian Brown of Munford. Brown, who was serving in Afghanistan, was severely injured from an improvised explosive device. He is now in a military hospital in Bethesda, Md., recovering from his wounds.

Randall is with the Wounded Warrior Project of the Mid-South, a group that was started about a year ago to help those who have served their country.

The March 24 ride, like other events the group has been involved with recently, brings together individuals from all walks of life with one guiding principle — to help those who have bravely served the rest of us.

“We want to raise awareness and to bring stability to some of the wounded warriors from the Mid-South that want our help, and need our help,” said Randall. “Last year we held a benefit concert with Lynyrd Skynyrd at Snowden Grove Amphitheater and we were able to present a check for $10,000 to the national organization as a result.”

For the benefit ride for Brown, Randall said he was expecting to have between 500 and 600 participants, most on motorcycles, but cars were welcome as well.

Between the $10 registration fee, donations, and merchandise sales the group hoped to raise more than $5,000 which will be donated directly to Brown. Their expectations were exceeded. The check that the Mid-South Wounded Warrior Project wrote to The Cpl. Christian Fund was a little more than $16,000.

The honor/benefit ride was also sponsored by The Recycle Biker Shop, Dixie Thunder Run, Patriot Guard Riders and the town of Munford.

After the throng of riders wound their way from Collierville to Munford they were greeted by the Munford Fire Department’s enormous flag as they entered town. Also on hand to greet the riders were Munford Mayor Dwayne Cole and state Sen. Mark Norris, who introduced a bill making Saturday Lance Cpl. Christian Brown Day in Tennessee.

Many riders said that even though they didn’t know Brown, they wanted to show their support.

Larry Anderson of Munford, along with his 4-year-old son, Jaiden, was doing just that. Anderson, who said Jaiden slept on the ride (in their car), said even without his bike, it was a worthwhile effort to show their support.

Adrienne “Yo” Murphy, president of Dixie Divas women’s biker club, said she was making the ride because she had a lot of “love for our heroes.”

With hundreds of riders and Munford locals crowded into the area around the Munford Fire Station, members of the Marine Corps League presented Colors, and music was played by members of Sgt. W.K. Singleton Pipes and Drums.

Brown was able to watch it all from his hospital bed via a live smartphone feed managed by his sister, Corina Reed.

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