United States Navy and Vietnam veteran Bill Springer is not the maudlin type.
Yet a terminal medical diagnosis at the local VA in April left the red-headed “Tin Can Sailor” pondering how he might spend whatever time he has left. The 62-year-old was diagnosed several years ago with Agent Orange-related cancer that has required numerous surgeries and left him with a life-threatening lung ailment.
As a grassroots advocate for fellow veterans, Springer opted to reach out on Facebook to someone who might be willing to pay him a favor. His request: “wind therapy,” that he otherwise described as a “hair-in-the-wind go-round” to some favorite spots in Prescott on the back of one of their motorcycles.
Springer’s main mode of transportation these days is a slow-moving electric scooter capable of supporting the oxygen tank he requires to breathe. He, though, vividly remembers his younger years riding down the road on a fast-roaring “bike,” an experience he said that always left him exhilarated and just happy to be a survivor. Springer, a former tradesman and fourth-generation sailor, spent his first tour after earning his high school diploma on a naval destroyer just off the coast of Vietnam.
The state’s Patriot Guard Riders ¬– with the motto “Standing for Those Who Stood for Us” ¬– answered Springer’s request in “quick fashion.” Several riders from across the state volunteered to come up and take him for what he suspects might be his last…
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