After Jamie passed away, memorial day had a whole new meaning to me. I can remember how each day after he died, it was memorial day to me. Each day I would lay by his grave site and stare at the sky thinking about the life we had, the strength he gave me and trying to figure out a way I could share his strength with the rest of the world.
Months went by and I started meeting other widows, gold star family members and families of the fallen and one thing to me was clear, we all wanted to honor our loved ones. But how could we do this? Even though we were so hurt on the inside, we didnt want others to feel that pain, we wanted them to feel our pride! In December 2012, with the help of friends and supporters, we created the Ride 4 The fallen a motorcycle ride with the slogan "They died for us, we will ride for them" To me, it was wonderful in May 2013 seeing the hundreds of people registering to help carry on a memory and ride 4 the fallen.
The mission of the “Ride 4 the Fallen” is to perpetuate the memory of Military heroes who have made the ultimate sacrifice while protecting America's freedoms.
All proceeds will be donated to the “Military Veteran Project”, a 100% volunteer led organization that advocates, educates, and honors Military Veterans & their families.
Please join us on May 10th, 2014, as supporters from across the nation will ride in honor of our fallen heroes. Registration is available online.
All registrants will be given a photo of a Military Hero who gave the ultimate sacrifice. The photo may be carried in hand or attached to the bike/car as a reminder of the sacrifices they made. Knowing they died for us, we will ride for them on this day, in their honor, as we keep their memory alive. Their sacrifices will not be in vain. Let us never forget the price they paid for our freedom.
In June 2013 I was asked if we could help create this ride in every state. While we operated the first event under the Military Veteran Project as a fundraiser, I knew we had to take this to the next level. To make it easier for people to participate we created Ride 4 The fallen - www.ride4thefallen.com an LLC that would be able to operate in each state and have a state ride captain to help conduct the ride. All the ride captains are in agreement that the net proceeds of this ride in each state will be donated to a non profit that is locally operated and operates at minimal costs. After all, I still believe that when you operate a non profit, you should do so because you believe in the cause, not because you want to make a six figure income. I still operate the Military Veteran Project as a 100% volunteer, www.militaryveteranproject.org . Along with me I have nearly 23 volunteers per day helping assist with operations, administrative duties and overall support of our military veterans.
As you can see, its been a very busy two years for me and I wouldnt change it for the world. As I have said before, If my husband can give his life for our country, then I can live each day carrying on his wish to care for his fellow service members.
As you read this, please know you are important in carrying on Jamie's wish and helping honor our service members, each time you like, comment or share a facebook post or this journal more people will become aware of how they can assist.. and thank you!
My name is Melissa Jarboe, military spouse, wounded warrior wife and war widow. Today and everyday moving forward, I will honor the sacrifice of our men and women who selflessly serve our nation.