Loudoun residents packed the plaza at One Loudoun the rainy evening of July 22 to honor a local Marine Corporal, Larry Bailey. On Saturday, Bailey was given a gift in thanks of his service that will change his life for the better.
“I’m here because I’m a patriot,” Karen Aguilera said. “And we’re here to honor a Marine who gave his service for us, to help defend this country and defend what we have.”
Bailey is a triple amputee as a result of an IED while serving in Afghanistan six years ago. Bailey was presented with an Action TrackChair. This all terrain chair will allow Bailey to go through creeks, up hills, over trees and through brush to enjoy the outdoors.
“It’ll let him do whatever he wants to do,” Miller and Smith Executive Director and One Loudoun Developer Alvin Hall said. “And the main thing is he can now go out in the yard and play with his child.”
The Action TrackChair was donated by Alvin Hall, executive director of development company Miller and Smith, with the help of the Patriot Guard Riders (PGR).
Hall said he learned about all terrain track chairs and wanted to give one as part of Miller and Smith’s regular philanthropy projects. For two years, he couldn’t find a qualified recipient of because they either lived in apartments, townhouses or military housing. It was with the help of Robinson and the Patriot Guard Riders that Hall found Bailey, who lives with his wife and two-year-old daughter in a wooded area of Faquier County.
“It’s an honor to have this opportunity to pay respect to one of our country’s greatest heroes,” Ride Captain Greg Cissel said. “I hope this chair gives you back some of your independence and affords you the opportunity to get back in the great outdoors to shoot and fish as you once did.”
The chair has a gun rack on the right side, a fishing pole rack on the left side, a toolbox and a carrier for an ice chest.
The Patriot Guard Riders are a non-profit group with over 350,000 volunteers nationwide. Formed over 12 years ago when Westboro Baptist Church started protesting at funerals of combat heroes, the PGR showed up on motorcycles and made a human wall blocking protesters from families. These protests don’t happen anymore, but PGR continues to provide escorts to funerals of combat veterans and ceremonies honoring service members.
Robin Lee, a new Patriot Guard Rider and former Navy photographer, described the event as being very heartwarming. “I get very emotional when it comes to our wounded warriors and veterans, this wonderful gift that was given to him was tear jerking. He was so deserving of it.” she said.
“I want to thank all of these individuals behind and next to me for their support, not just for me, but for all my brothers and sisters in the military,” Bailey said.