Sea2Sea starts in Ocean Shores today, ends in DC July 4th

April 23, 2012 KBKW News – The Talk of Grays Harbor 94.7 FM and 1450 AM
Link to original article on kbkw.com

Ocean Shores, WA – Cycling from the West to East coast of the US in 77 days, Tom Von Kaenel (Kay-Null) starts the US leg of his journey today in Ocean Shores. A retired American Serviceman living in Oxfordshire, Von Kaenel launched an ambitious international fundraiser to benefit UK and US servicemen April 21st.

Two years ago, Von Keanel spent 17 days in a UK military hospital after a cycling accident in the Pyrenees mountains, Von Kaenel says he wouldn’t be cycling today without that care. “During those 17 days I saw for the first time the depth of selfless devotion and the sacrifices that our men and woman gave to those troops that were wounded or injured in Afghanistan and Iraq, and sadly those that paid the ultimate price.”
Cylcing over 4,200 miles across the US and UK this summer, Von Kaenel is hoping to raise more than $10-million US and £5-million UK to benefit serviceman. To donate, follow, or read more about Von Kaenel, visit sea2sea.org

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Tom aims to raise £5,000,000 to benefit the various UK service member and veteran charity organisations (ie, Army Benevolent Fund, British Legion, Help for Heroes) and $10,000,000 for the various US service member and veteran charity organisations (ie, Paralyzed Veterans of America, American Legion, Wounded Warriors). Funds raised through sponsorship will be paid direct to the charities through their own web sites. You can sponsor Tom and his team through his web site www.sea2sea.org which acts as a portal for the fundraising.

Tom is asking for help to make this huge challenge a success. He needs assistance in the UK and the USA to plan, organize, and of course participate in the cycle ride. You can join Tom by signing up on the web site at www.sea2sea.org where you will also find full details of the charities supported by the challenge. Tom says, “The mission of Sea2Sea is simple: to give back to UK and US service men and women who have served since 9/11. We do this by providing a website that provides a comprehensive list of registered UK and US charities that are related to benefiting the Armed Forces of these two countries.” The Sea2Sea site will act as a portal for fundraising. On the site you can choose your preferred charity to benefit from your donation. Tom says, “I welcome help from anyone who wishes to give their support and expertise. We are completely apolitical and are not in competition with any other US or UK charity. In fact, our website will host the names, addresses, and purpose of any registered UK or US charity and welcome the opportunity to highlight the selfless work that they do so that people can contribute to their specific needs.”

Long-distance biker

By Tom Scanlon
Posted Saturday, Apr. 21, 2012 at 10:33 AM
Original article – www.northcoastnews.com

 

Monday at 9 a.m. is a chance to cheer this long-distance biker as he beings his cross-country journey: Sea2Sea – On November 11, 2011 Tom Von Kaenel, a retired serviceman living in England, launched an ambitious international fundraiser to benefit UK and US servicemen. The fundraiser includes a 4077 mile ride across the United States from west to east coast starting in Ocean Shores, WA on April 23, 2012 and ending in Washington DC on July 4th.

Tom will be starting this portion of his journey Monday, April 23 at 9:00AM in front of the Ocean Shores Brokers office at 380 SR 115, just outside the Ocean Shores gates. Penny Romito, Ocean Shores Brokers, invites the community to the event to give Tom a big send-off.

Contact Penny Romito at 360-580-1517 for additional information. Check out Tom’s website at www.sea2sea.org for information on his fundraising efforts.

CHARITY MATTERS: US coast-to-coast ride aids forces charities

Click here for original content – Whitney Gazette

Friday 20th April 2012
Tom Jennings

AFTER seeing the depth of sacrifice from UK and US service personnel, an Oxfordshire resident plans to cycle across America to fundraise.

Tom Von Kaenel, from Freeland, near Witney, will cycle 4,200 miles to try to raise £5m for UK forces charities, including The Royal British Legion and Help for Heroes, and another $10m for US forces charities.

He began his epic journey this week by symbolically cycling the repatriation route from RAF Brize Norton to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford.

And tomorrow, he sets off from Seattle on the 4,200-mile ride to Washington DC.

Mr Von Kaenel was inspired to fundraise after spending time in a US army hospital in Germany after seriously injuring himself in an accident in 2009 while cycling in France.

The 56-year-old said: “I was in a trauma ward with injured soldiers evacuated from Afghanistan.

“There were some that had suffered traumatic brain injuries and others that were victims of improvised explosive devices.

“I was awestruck by their depth of sacrifice and by the devotion the medical personnel.

“I swore that if I was able to walk again I would do this to raise awareness and support for the UK and US military.

“I am still recovering, but I am committed.

“It is something that cannot wait until I am well because I do not know if I will ever be 100 per cent.”

Signing a Bike Jersey for Sea2Sea

Link to original content: www.flickr.com/photos/grahamblog/6945500930/

Good to see my friend and fellow D.W. Daniel High School graduate Tom Von Kaenel yesterday in Washington. Tom is the head of Sea2Sea and is biking across the UK and USA to raise funds for wounded warriors. Tom is an Army vet, West Point graduate, and has a son who served in Iraq.

Information on Sea2Sea: www.sea2sea.org

Army Vet to Cycle 4,200 Miles for Wounded Soldiers

Original article from MilitaryTimes.com

U.S. Army veteran Tom von Kaenel owes his life to the staff at Landstuhl Military Hospital in Landstuhl, Germany – and he knows it.

On Sept. 16, 2009, while cycling in the Pyrenees Mountains, Tom had a gruesome cycling accident, suffering major injuries all over his body, shattering his pelvis, dislocating his hip and breaking his eye socket. After the crash, he was taken to a London hospital, where doctors said he may never walk again and would have to drastically change his way of life. Not one to give in so easily, Tom secured a transfer to Landstuhl, where they were better equipped to treat his injuries, and where they ultimately saved his life.

“It was like being in a shrine – the holiest place I’ve ever been to,” Tom says of Landstuhl. “I was in the trauma ward with soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan. It just struck me, the concentrated effort being put forth to get these people well. And, I said right there that I’m going to learn to walk again and get back on my bike and tell this story. I really feel it’s my quest.”

For the next two years, Tom would endure intense physical therapy and constant pain in order to fulfill the commitments he made in that hospital room – and prove to his doctors that a full recovery was possible.

On April 21, 2012, Tom’s vision will become reality. The Sea2Sea Foundation, the non-profit organization he founded after the accident, is sponsoring a 79-day, 4,200 mile bicycle quest across England and America to raise almost $18 million for soldiers injured in the War on Terror. Donations will go to various U.S. and UK charities, including Wounded Warriors and Help for Heroes.

Tom will begin the journey in Brize Norton, Oxfordshire, England, where he will cycle the 60-plus miles to London Heathrow Airport and board a flight to Seattle. He will take off from the  Pacific Ocean, just west of Seattle, heading southwest, through Middle America and the Midwest, down into South Carolina, and back up the East Coast to Washington, D.C.

To stay on schedule, Tom will ride about 63 miles per day, from early morning to early-to-mid afternoon, and will be joined by local cyclists and volunteers. In the afternoons and evenings, Tom will meet with local community leaders, gives talks at schools, and visit military bases and Veterans hospitals – spreading the word about his mission. He’s also scheduled to speak at some major events, including the Country Music Awards Music Festival on June 9 in Nashville, Tenn.

Joining Tom for the entirety of the trip will be a support group consisting of one British retiree and one fully loaded RV. His jack-of-all-trades partner, Bruce Hammersley, is a retired entrepreneur, who signed on as the trip photographer, but has since taken on various other jobs, including official blogger, cook, bottle washer and driver.

“Bruce has been absolutely instrumental in this effort,” Tom says. “I couldn’t do it without him.”

Tom and Bruce are scheduled to finish their epic journey on Independence Day at the Arlington Cemetery in Washington, D.C. – after, first, dipping their feet into the Atlantic Ocean.

And, if you’re concerned about Tom’s health so soon after the accident, or worried about the effect the brutal summer sun will have on the men, just relax, he says. He’s got this.

“No matter what happens, I’ll be at Arlington Cemetery on July 4,” he says. “We’ll make the date. You can count on that.”

First Command Financial Services, Inc. is proud to sponsor The Sea2Sea Foundation. Join and/or follow Tom’s ride: http://www.firstcommand.com/sea2sea/ . This article was reprinted from a First Command Financial Services publication.

Tom von Kaenel and the Sea2Sea 2012 Challenge

 

Link to Original Article on weaponsman.com

There’s no shortage of good charities you can support that support the troops. Tom von Kaenel, a Yank who lives in England, is trying to raise a pretty good chunk of money for several of those charities: £5 million and  $10 million to support wounded and injured UK and US soldiers respectively.

This is Tom on his way to Landstuhl from France last September. A long way from biking again at that time.

Tom knows what it’s like to be a family member of a soldier — a close relative is in Special Forces. And he knows what goes on at a military hospital, because he was admitted to one himself — Landstuhl Regional Military Hospital — after a terrible bike accident in France. “I saw for the first time the selfless devotion,” he recalls, of our troops and of the people that care for them.

Since biking is what Tom knows, he’s going biking. In Britain… well, all across Britain. And in the USA.. well, you got it, all across the USA. 4200 miles in all.  And people will be riding with him — including other vets, and possibly some wounded warriors. And he has some corporate support, too (including from the rehab center that got him back riding again, after Landstuhl’s emergency surgery saved his life.

You can hear him in his own words:

Why we’re undertaking the Sea2Sea 2012 Challenge & how you can help. – YouTube.

Tom’s the kind of guy that would be riding his bike anyway, but instead of just riding for the hell of it and gazing at his navel between rides, he’s riding to help others, and he’s getting others to pitch in — many hands make light fundraising. They’d better, because the goal, roughly $20 million total, is an ambitious one. The ride kicks off on 21 April 2012 and will conclude 08 July 2012 back at RAF Brize Norton — where Britain’s wounded warriors and fallen come home. The US wrap is on July 4th in Washington — a bit ironic that an event that celebrates our greatest alliance comes to town on the anniversary of our greatest schism, but there it is.

For us vets, it’s helpfully spelled out here in 5-paragraph op-order format.

The event is well supported social-media style with Facebook and Twitter accounts, a website, and a couple of blogs: Tom’s and Bruce’s (he’s the indispensable “chief cook and bottle washer” or support guy; he’ll shadow Tom across America in an RV, or in British parlance, camper van).

So… pitch in if you can, make a donation to one of the chosen charities, or show up and ride along when they pass near your town on the way to the US finish line: the Lincoln Memorial on the 4th of July. It’s for a good cause.

Sea2Sea Cycling Event

Original article on heroesinrecovery.com

Sea2Sea is an organization that is taking an active approach to raising awareness for British and American veterans: they are cycling across the continental US to raise 10 million dollars for American charities benefiting veterans and 5 million pounds for UK military charities. They believe that the tremendous cost that US and UK soldiers have taken on themselves, especially in the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, should be recognized and given recompense through this charitable effort.

The cycling begins April 21, 2012, in England, and then the participants will fly to Seattle, Wash., and ride to Washington, D.C., to end their journey on July 8th. The total ride will encompass more than 4,000 miles.

Heroes in Recovery is supporting Sea2Sea and will be welcoming the cycling team with banners and cheering when they head through Nashville, Tenn., on their way to the coast!