“Wounded Vet Ride” Draws 3,500 Cyclists

Over 3,500 motorcycles made their way through East Boston Saturday as part of the 3rd Annual ‘Wounded Vet Ride’ to raise money to for three local veterans wounded in combat overseas.

This year’s event followed a 40-mile route along the North Shore, down Bennington Street in Eastie and ended at Suffolk Downs Racetrack with a concert and barbeque.

This year’s event raised over well over $100,000 for First Lieutenant Jake Murphy, Marine Lance Corporal Nick Eufrazio and Marine Corporal James Crosby.

“I get a lot of credit for Saturday’s historic day for our wounded warriors,” said founder of the Wounded Vet Ride Andrew Biggio. “I can’t thank my committee and volunteers enough…these guys made this idea possible and the event this year was a grand slam.”

Over 1,000 people welcomed the riders at Suffolk Downs and hundreds more lined the streets and cheered them on.

“It was amazing to see all the love and support out there along the route,” said Basile. “At times it was very emotional.”

Basile explained that this year’s vet ride took on a whole different meaning after the events at the Boston Marathon.

“People now see first hand the sort of carnage these IED’s (Improvised Explosive Device) cause and what our troops have been up against in these wars,” said Basile. “The Marathon Attack was a sober reminder of why we rode for Lieutenant Jake Murphy, Marine Lance Corporal Nick Eufrazio and Marine Corporal James Crosby and had the memories of the victims and injured during the bombing close to our hearts the entire day.”

Last week Basile amended his wounded veterans bill that will give state benefits for the purpose of home modification to include those severely injured during the marathon attack.

Both Basile and Biggio thanked all the volunteers and donors that helped make this year’s vet ride a success.

First Lieutenant Jake Murphy, 25, of Wellesley, served the United States Army, 10th Mounted Division in Kandahar, Afghanistan. On July 23, 2011, Lieutenant Murphy was injured by an improvised Explosive Device (IED)  resulting in the amputation of both legs. He is the recipient of the Purple Heart and a Bronze Star and is a West Point graduate. He continues his rehabilitation at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center at Bethesda and is accompanied by his caregiver and fiancé, Lisa Morgan

Marine Lance Corporal Nick Eufrazio, of Plymouth, served with the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force in Helmand Province, Afghanistan when shrapnel from a grenade wounded him in 2010. Corporal Eufrazio has a traumatic brain injury and currently going through surgeries to replace parts of his skull. Corporal Eufrazio is currently in the Tampa VA Medical Center.

Marine Corporal James Crosby of Winthrop served with the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing in Al Asad, Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. In 2004 James suffered from a spinal cord injury when an enemy rocket landed a few feet away from him.

All money raised will go to support these three American war heroes in their recovery by making home modification.

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