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Shutdown forces Cause Warrior Ride from National Mall to Occoquan park

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The 2013 Cause Warrior Ride was supposed to end at the National Mall, but it had to be moved to Occoquan Regional Park because of the government shutdown.

Darrel and Roseann Mooney. (Photo: www.cause-usa.org)

It was a triumphant end to a 3,800-mile, cross-country journey from Tacoma, Washington to D.C. organized by Cause, short for Comfort for America’s Uniformed Services.

But for Darrel and Roseann Mooney, the arrival is somewhat bittersweet.

“We were expected to end at the Washington mall obviously. We're from the west, and that sounded like a real exciting place to end,” says Roseann Mooney, a ride volunteer.

But that didn't happen.

“We drove 4,000 miles to find the doors closed,” says Darrel Mooney.

Because of the government shutdown, the Mooneys, whose sponsors have raised nearly $10,000 to help wounded warriors, had to divert their destination from the closed National Mall, to the park in Lorton.

“It was very meaningful to be able to ride into the Mall,” says Pam Derrow, Cause Executive Director. “It was going to help raise awareness of the needs at issue that every wounded warrior does face.”

Cause says 10 invited wounded veterans couldn't participate.

Since the shutdown cut the veteran's funding for transportation from Walter Reed in Bethesda, they considered bicycling here, but needed trails were closed. And an offer to bus the 10 people was rejected.

“They said it was too short a time to get the paperwork,” Derrow says.

All of which, has left the Mooneys and organizers proud of their accomplishment, but frustrated with the government.

 

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