Over the past 5 years, I have had the privilege of racing, training, and building a relationship with our core group of riders on the LAPT-Wilde Subaru Cycling team. We have always had a great deal of fun challenging and supporting one another to push harder, dig deeper, and find success. Success is certainly something our team can put on the resume, having been recognized via invitations to some of the country’s largest races in recent years, but we found ourselves seeking something more. We wanted our success to mean something, to stand for something more than a place on the podium and a medal put around our neck. This is where Project Echelon comes in...
Several years back Eric Beach and I met through our wives and their long lasting friendship from high school. At first, Eric B. was an average guy, the same as me, doing what he could to find his place in the world and support his young family. Thankfully, over the last few years, I have had the privilege of getting to know Eric B. on a deeper level. He started to share some of the personal trials and tribulations that he has now found the strength to share publicly with you, but at first those inner struggles and feelings were covered up and hidden. As I learned more about his Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), the work that he was involved with with organizations like This Able Veteran, Mission 22, USA Cares, and others, the more I was inspired by his story and felt a calling to take action and do something to give back to the veteran community.
The rest of the story can be told in the recent work we have done to build Project Echelon. Our Elite Cycling team will be joining forces with the veteran athletes of Project Echelon to share our passion for exercise and competition and help build the same brotherhood and network of support that I found 5 years ago in our cycling team. Project Echelon is our opportunity to give back and support those who were willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for our country and for our families… it is our opportunity to “be the change that we want to see in the world.”
It is for this opportunity that I am grateful and humbled to be a part of.