Friends give a vet a last ride | The Daily Courier – Arizona News

Friends give a vet a last ride | The Daily Courier – Arizona News

Bill Springer on the back of a motorcycle driven by Patriot Guard Riders member Rick Ntel. (Marion Cartland/Courtesy)

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…

click here to read more.

Share this post

Post Comment