In honor of Veterans Day, we wanted to recognize the brave men & women who have courageously and selflessly served our country. In doing so, we hosted a Veterans Day eBike Giveaway, honoring a deserving veteran with a free XP™ Lite eBike!
There were over 600 nominees - each with their own touching story and photos. We are so grateful to those who shared their inspiring stories & memories with us. Your time and openness is greatly appreciated. We wish you all of the greatest adventures from here on out!
With that being said, we'd like to extend a huge congratulations to our Veterans Day Giveaway winner Sean M, nominated by his mother, Roberta! Check out Sean & Roberta's story below.
Sean’s Story from the Eyes of His Mother, Roberta
"Our son joined the Navy right after graduating from High School and two weeks after his graduation ceremony he was shipped out to the Great Lakes Naval Training base. Until that point in time, he had never been on his own and had never been away from his family.
He completed his training and was then assigned to the USS Enterprise Aircraft Carrier, and shipped to the Persian Gulf. That was soon to be the beginning of the true test for me, knowing that Sean was in the middle of harm's way every single day of his first deployment.
When he came home on leave, I noticed that he had changed. He was no longer the scared little boy who left, but a young man who had seen things and done things most parents try to protect their children from. But there was something else new in him - he was proud to serve his country and took pride in protecting his fellow military brothers and sisters in his service. After his return, he was more sure of himself than ever and confident in the capabilities that the Navy gave him.
Then, tragedy struck. A helicopter crash took his best friend's life and Sean had to experience the loss of a close loved one for the first time in his young life. As a family, we attended his friend's military funeral. It was the hardest experience of his and my life to that point. How do you comfort a son who is grieving, but is always told to be brave and put it behind him by the very people who trained him? As a mother, you just want to hug and hold him and tell him it will be okay. But in the back of my mind, I knew it could have been him.
Soon after the funeral, I took a job as a nurse with the VA as a way to be closer to my son. Taking care of these young men and women coming back from Iran/Iraq was a true honor. Every time I took care of them, I was, in a way, taking care of my son as well. With more deployments over the years, Sean would sometimes share little memories that happened to him throughout his service, and I knew something was wrong. He might not have had physical wounds for the eye to see, but he had deeper wounds. We soon came to the realization that Sean had PTSD.
He retired this year after serving 20 years in the Navy, but he still suffers from PTSD and receives help from the VA to this day. He's come to terms with the fact that PTSD is something that will stay with him for the rest of his life.
While serving in the Navy, Sean worked hard to get his degree in Firefighting, and he now serves as a Firefighter at the Fort Irwin Army Base. Working helps him maintain the discipline and brotherhood the military taught him.
Sean has a service dog to help him cope with his PTSD, as well as a kind and loving wife, who understands what he sometimes goes through. When things get tough and those black thoughts get into his head, Sean will take his bike out and ride in the desert by his home to clear his mind and soul.
I am so proud of him and could not have asked for a better son. I am also proud of all military men or women who risk their lives to protect us and our freedom of rights in this great country. With so much anger and hate and uncertainty in this country, I would ask everyone to not only thank a veteran this Veterans Day, but to also visit a military base and thank those that are currently giving so much so that we may have our freedoms each and every day."
We can't thank Roberta enough for sharing their story with us, and we can't wait to see where their Lectric advantages take them soon!
Photos of Sean M - The Veterans Day Giveaway Winner