POSTED: Thursday, May 2, 2013 - 9:07pm
UPDATED: Thursday, May 2, 2013 - 9:11pm
Clint, TX (KTSM) — Approximately 500 riders from surrounding areas came to support the sixth annual Clint Fallen Heroes Bike Gathering, April 6, in Clint, Texas, to pay tribute to Sgt. Israel Devora Garcia and all fallen heroes.
Garcia, a native of Clint, who was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 6th Infantry, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division in Baumholder, Germany, was killed April 1, 2006, when an improvised explosive device detonated while he was conducting a dismounted patrol in Baghdad.
“My son helped a lot of people, a lot of orphans. That’s who he was,” said Lorenzo Sandoval, Garcias’ father. “I wanted to do something for my son to pay tribute to him, and this is it.”
Garcia graduated from Clint High School, where he was a Junior ROTC cadet. All proceeds from the event go toward scholarships for JROTC cadets in the Clint, San Elizario, Fabens and Canutillo independent school districts.
“This is how I can honor my son,” said Sandoval.
Registration for the event was held at Mamacitas Bar and Grill, where everyone that came through was greeted with hugs, handshakes and smiles. The husband and wife team made sure everyone had breakfast and something to drink for the long day ahead.
“We feel very strong about this run,” said Sandra Estrada, co-owner of Mamacitas. “We’ve been a part of the run for the last three years, and we love it.”
The first stop on the ride was Plainview Lake in Tornillo, where the band Remedy played, celebrating the lives of all fallen service members.
The second stop was for lunch and drinks at Bully’s Bar and Grill in Fabens, allowing riders to regroup from the 38-mile ride.
After lunch, the riders traveled to the Clint Cemetery to visit Sgt. Garcia’s gravesite, where tears of joy and sadness consumed the group.
The final stop was at the Livery Stable and Saloon in Horizon for food and a biker’s rodeo.
“Seeing all these bikes here today, there are no words for how I feel right now, a lot of tears, tears of happiness,” said Sandoval.
Since starting this run, year after year the number of riders continues to grow. Friendships are formed, bonds are set and Clint’s bike family continues to grow.
“The first year it was a success in our eyes because we had about 35 riders and we were going to raise money for JROTC cadets,” said Charles Gonzalez, friend of Sandoval. “Whether we have 100 bikes, 500 bikes or 2 bikes, the whole purpose is to preserve and continue the memory of those individuals who have paid the ultimate sacrifice – their life – for our country.”
For more information, visit www.clintfallenheroes.org.