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Ryan Draughn

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We met so many incredible people in Louisiana. We want to introduce you to one family in particular – The Draughns. Mary and Ben, along with their three children, Nichole, Ryan, and Michael have a long history of service in the United States Marine Corps. Living just north of New Orleans, The Draughns graciously opened their home to us and we had the opportunity to stay with them and learn more about their family. And we got to meet Ryan.

Ryan returned home from service in 2008 after three years overseas, and after sustaining multiple traumatic brain injuries as well as injuries to his back and hips. We had a chance to show Ryan our trikes. He seemed to really like them! He told us he hasn’t been able to exercise like he used to before he was injured and he imagined a trike like this could help him regain strength.

We set out on this tour with 2 trikes secured to the back of our RV. They were meant for riding, demonstrating, advertising as we made our way across the country. But after meeting Ryan, we knew that one of them was meant for him. So we unloaded a trike, adjusted it to fit Ryan and it was his.

We gave Ryan a trike because this is what this Tour is all about. If riding it gives him even the smallest sense of new-found freedom, strength, hope, happiness…then the mission of C.A.M.P. is alive and well. Thank you to Ryan and the Draughn family for all your hospitality and support. We hope to see you again next time we’re in Louisiana. Semper fi!

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Southside Cafe

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A very big Thank You to our new friends in Slidell, LA – Dan, Chris and Crew at Southside Cafe. Thank you for your generosity and hospitality! We will never forget our time in Louisiana.

If you’re ever in the area, you must eat at Southside, located just north of New Orleans. 3154 Pontchartrain Drive, Slidell, LA 70458.

Semper Fi!

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Humbled in New Orleans

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We took the trikes out for a spin in the neighborhoods of New Orleans today.  They definitely weren’t joking about the heat down here!

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Later, thirsty and hot, we walked into the city to grab an iced coffee, wearing our usual C.A.M.P. shirts. When we entered the cafe, we were greeted by a man who stood and saluted us – a veteran.  We introduced ourselves and started chatting.  He asked us about our mission and shared with us stories about his military service.  We drank our coffees, asked a few questions, but mostly listened.  It was incredible not only to learn about his experiences but to receive his respect and well wishes for our trip.  We, in turn, expressed our respect for his service and for taking the time to talk with us.  We gave him printed information about C.A.M.P. and parted ways with a handshake and a nod of the head.  It was a beautiful afternoon and further evidence of how collaborative and heartwarming this journey has been…

Trikes

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Lots of time devoted to building trikes in preparation for the trip. It’s so cool not only to be able to talk to people about them but to have them on hand for immediate use.  And it’s so fun to watch people experience the power assist! Not your ordinary riding experience…

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KOA

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First night staying in a KOA! (Kampgrounds of America) It’s the most hospitable place to be when traveling by RV. We got to stay plugged in all night – which meant A/C, microwave, and electricity. We slept like babies!

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The Generosity of Strangers

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We have encountered heartfelt generosity from so many people as we make our way across the country. We are truly humbled by the kindness, generosity and warmth that has been shown to us as we spread the mission of C.A.M.P.  And we know there is more to come!

We’ve received donations from our waiter at Bubba Gump Shrimp, Co. in Charleston, SC

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And the kind folks at The Crab Shack, Salter Path, NC

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A woman selling psalm roses on the street gave us a cash donation

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This street musician donated copies of his CD for our long hours on the road

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Campbell Boyd of Boyd Nursery Company showed us how to target shoot

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After meeting at Rebar in downtown Nashville, the folks at Buddy Lee Attractions talent agency invited us into their office and gave us a very generous donation

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Thank you to BLA and everyone who has supported us on our mission!

A Tour of America

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  IMG_1942  IMG_1941                                   Michael Suddes                                                   Peter Brault

Friends since childhood, we have been collaborating with C.A.M.P. for over a year in preparation for A Tour of America.  Travelling by way of a 1988 Tioga Motorhome (meticulously restored and primed for trikes!) we’ve taken the mission of C.A.M.P. on the road and into the lives of people across the country.

The goal of this 3-month, nationwide road trip is to raise awareness about the pressing mobility and health challenges faced by injured soldiers after they’ve returned from combat. C.A.M.P.’s mission is one of hope: to bring new levels of mobility, physical conditioning, confidence and joy into the lives of veterans.

Visit our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/CAMPTourOfAmerica                            And be sure to check out our “Tour of America Photos” page above!

Getting ready to head out!