Sunday, September 9, 2018

Ten Years Of Wheelers For The Wounded (WFTW)

In a blink of an eye a decade has gone by and a lot of tears, laughter and hopefully some healing has happened to the Veterans and drivers that participated in a weekend of magic!  I can just imagine what the original founder of Wheelers For The Wounded was plotting while sitting in a tent overseas while doing his job as a private contractor for the military.  Jason Havlik spawned the idea of WFTW in his off duty hours, which often included little to no sleep, to put together a courageous trip wheelin his Jeep and off road trailer across the country! 

After doing some research online, Jason found Del Albright, known at the time as the "Trail Boss" for the Friends of the Rubicon, an all volunteer group of people who keep the trail open by fixing and maintaining it.  That's when things really started to come together for Jason's planning; who better to get with then the planning master himself and very knowledgeable about the trail then Del?

Through several email conversations and occasional phone calls over the months and lots of planning, things were coming together.  Jason's plan was to organize events to take the Veterans out on 4x4 trails through several states on his way from the east coast to the west for a run on the legendary Rubicon Trail.

We were so excited to meet Jason when he finally made it home from overseas and kept up with him along his journey out west.  We finally met for the first time at the trail head at Loon Lake, what a moment that was!

Del, Stacie Albright and Jason Havlik at main camp.

Jason had quite the set up for back in the day!

Just after the first year of his journey on the road, Jason decided to take a different path in life and thankfully Kevin Carey and Dan Hiney took the reins over for several years.  Dan and Kevin are now taking a different road as well.  

Thanks to Jason, there have been a lot of happy Veterans that attend WFTW every year on the Rubicon, including my son who I finally got to take with me, thank goodness, 4 years ago when he finally came home from Iraq and Afghanistan.  

My son on the right, me to the left of him and some of the other drivers for the Veterans. 

Thanks again to Jason Havlik who spearheaded this whole endeavor that has lasted 10 years and will live on for many more!  Look for a Wheelers For The Wounded in your state, don't have one?  Start one, you won't regret it!  For more information about the Rubicon event contact Eric Chennault at MetalCloak in Rancho Cordova CA.  

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