(CENTREVILLE, MD) – Maryland State Police troopers will be part of a joint law enforcement escort of a US Marine combat veteran who lost both legs in Afghanistan and is nearing the end of a cross-country solo hand-cycle ride to raise awareness of the sacrifice of our military personnel.
Toran Gaal left San Diego on June 1st and has hand-cycled across the country, headed for the Iwo Jima Memorial where he will lay a wreath in honor of our nation’s fallen. His support vehicle is driven by a fellow Marine, Brian Riley, who is also a combat veteran and amputee.
Toran and Brian are expected to enter Maryland from Delaware early Friday, July 31st. They will be met by a joint law enforcement escort from Maryland police agencies. The procession will stop at the Park and Ride off Rt. 8 (Thompson Creek Road) at Rt. 50 at about 7:30 a.m. Toran will then travel by vehicle over the Bay Bridge and continue cycling toward his destination.
Toran Gaal turned down a professional basketball contract to serve his country as a Marine. He was chosen to serve as a member of the Presidential Guard and stood behind President Obama during his inauguration. While serving in Afghanistan, he was wounded in an explosion on June 26, 2011 and lost both legs.
In addition to raising awareness, Toran is raising funds to support the Semper Fi Fund, an organization that helps wounded service members and their families. The website for Toran Gaal’s Ride Across America is www.torangaal.com.