Karl Rove: Bush Bike Ride for Wounded Veterans Honors Service

Thursday, 08 May 2014 11:39 AM

By Lisa Degnen

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Karl Rove says 16 Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans overcame horrific injuries to be a part of the Bush Institute's fourth annual W100K.

Rove, who served as deputy chief of staff to then-President George W. Bush, wrote in a commentary piece in The Wall Street Journal that the three-day event last week in Crawford, Texas, hosted by Bush  was a huge success.

Among the others whose injuries he described, Rove wrote about Staff Sgt. Spencer Milo,  who was manning a .50-caliber machine gun during a firefight in Iraq in 2007 when his Humvee collided with two trucks. He was told he just had a concussion, and he went back to fight.

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Once he got home, the headaches persisted, and tests revealed his injury had caused a mass in his brain. Doctors gave him six months to live. A second opinion diagnosed a Traumatic Brain Injury. He was treated and then deployed to Afghanistan.

Then in 2011, a suicide bomber attacked just eight feet away, causing him to lose most of his hearing and fractured several discs in his back. Still, despite being blown 15 feet through the air and covered in shrapnel, Milo managed to save another wounded soldier.

Today, Milo is retired and serves as a Veteran Transition Specialist for Hire Heroes USA, which helps others re-enter civilian life.

"The W100K riders have been through darkness," Rove said. "Yet for three days last week, they rode in the bright sunlight of late spring days, celebrating lives of service and comrades in arms with a former commander in chief who loves and cherishes them. It was an honor to be among them."

Bush led the veterans through a bike trail on his vast 1,600-acre ranch.

According to Bicycling.com, the event is part of the Military Service Initiative of the Bush Presidential Center, created to highlight the bravery of American service members and to put a focus on organizations that help injured soldiers like the Wounded Warrior Project.

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