State Rep. James Armes, D-Leesville, last weekend rode ATVs with wounded veterans known as Road Warriors on the muddy Sabine River trails of East Texas adjoining Louisiana and shared a lasting camaraderie with a group of men he greatly admires and loves. Their weekend of fun and food preceded a cross-country motorcycle trip to raise money and awareness to support the Road Warrior Foundation.

Every year, the Road Warrior Foundation, with the help of corporate sponsor Cam Am BRP picks ten wounded veterans for an all-expense paid ride across the U.S. on custom Cam Am Spyders followed by a support crew of about ten people.  Ride therapy is what they like to call it.  Every year a different route is chosen.

This year, Sawgie Bottom Outdoor Power Sports of Leesville, the local Cam-Am dealer, sponsored their first stop at the Sabine ATV Park. Sawgie Bottom brought out ten demo ATVs and side by sides for them to ride, and ride they did. This is the fourth year for the event and according to the organizers it was the best stop ever – two days of fun in the mud. 

Sawgie Bottom thanked the following sponsors who made this event a huge success: The American Legion Riders and Sons of the American Legion Post 145 from Leesville, the Masonic Lodge of Newton, Texas, the Sabine ATV Park and A-1 Communications of Leesville.

Rep. Armes said, “I had the privilege and honor of spending a day riding ATVs and talking with our heroes who had been wounded in the line of duty.  I was there representing the governor and the House of Representatives Special Committee on Military and Veterans Affairs.  

“The sponsors, Sawgie Bottom Sports and Can Am, along with the Jasper VFW and the VFW Riders from Leesville, gave our Road Warriors one of the best times they say they’ve ever had riding ATVs.  The Road Warriors enjoyed fried fish on Saturday and shared two smoked hogs with all the trimmings Sunday night.  On Monday, they left on their road trip riding on special Can Am Spyder motorcycles, which were customized specifically for their needs, and headed toward Greenville, Miss., through Georgia and then to South Carolina, where they will finalize their road trip adventure. 

“ All of this was made possible by their sponsor Can Am who provides these bikes to them each year.  We can’t thank Can Am enough.  When they left on their trip, there weren’t many dry eyes around.  These warriors sacrificed legs and arms, and suffered head trauma and burns --- their bodies are ravaged with bullet wounds.”   

“I ask that you go out and meet our heroes as they pass through your towns,” he said. “Give them recognition and welcome them,” Armes said.

With the support of corporate partners and individual donors, the Road Warrior Foundation helps veterans recover by driving them to thrive in unfamiliar environments and perform at a level they thought was no longer available to them. To learn more about the Road Warrior Foundation, visit the website at www.roadwarrior.org.