Moses Ludel’s 4WD Mechanix Magazine – 2014 Wheelers for the Wounded Rubicon Super Event
In June 2014, Wheelers for the Wounded (WFTW) grew from a California based organization to the inaugural event involving Nevada 4×4 volunteer drivers. Members of the Sierra Stompers and other Nevada 4×4 masters get briefed by organizers Kevin Carey and Dan Hiney. This is the prelude to Saturday’s Rubicon Trail run for the guest Vets.
The Wheelers for the Wounded grew from a California based volunteer organization to now include a Nevada contingency. At right, Kevin Carey and Dan Hiney talk about the organization before briefing the 4×4 volunteer drivers and Vets for the Saturday, June 7th trail run!
At left, Jake Munoz of the Sierra Stompers stretches before the Saturday run. A highly active 4×4 driver, Jake is also a Vet. With seven major spinal surgeries, Jake Munoz volunteers to drive in this June 2014 WFTW Rubicon Super Event. The run is the first to involve Nevada volunteers…At right is the Saturday morning bag lunch line before heading out on the Rubicon Trail. The TDO 4×4 Club works hard to see that all volunteers and guest Vets get quality meals over this three-day weekend event! For the first time, seasoned Nevada volunteer drivers take the Wheelers for the Wounded guest Vets over the Rubicon Trail. 4×4 masters, the WFTW organizers and other volunteers provide guests with this unique opportunity. In this full-length feature HD video, join the group on this all-day fun run and a weekend R&R for veterans.
At left, Jake Munoz drives his specially built Jeep flatfender 4×4 over the rough stuff. This vehicle is purpose built for trails like the Rubicon and keeps Jake safe in the wake of his spinal injury history. At right, organizers Dan Hiney (driving) and Kevin Carey (spotting) tackle the trail with the volunteers and Vets. Jake, Dan and Kevin are each veterans. After a hard day on the Rubicon Trail, the guest Vets and Nevada volunteer drivers return to the South Fork Campground. The tri-tip dinner prepped by the TDO 4×4 club is stellar, and the vets hear from Gunny Rios about veteran flights to Washington, D.C.
The meals were each ready on time and offered quality food for the Vets and volunteers. At right, 79-year-old Bing is the first Korean War veteran to become a WFTW guest. (WWII Vet Francis Resta precedes Bing.) Bing’s service in the U.S. Marine Corps entitles him and other Vets to a grand time on the Rubicon Trail! Vets from WWII, Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf War, Iraq, the Afghanistan conflict and other U.S. service experiences are all welcome guests at these Wheelers for the Wounded 4×4 runs. PURPLETOP Garage is well known at Northern California and along the Rubicon Trail. At the June 2014 Wheelers for the Wounded Rubicon Super Event, Nevada 4×4 volunteer drivers hosted the Vet guests. Mark Elliott, owner of PURPLETOP Garage, came from the Sacramento Area to support this event and Vets. The PURPLETOP Garage features custom suspension for trail 4x4s. Mark also designs and builds 4×4 accommodations and equipment for disabled Vets and others with physical challenges. Meet Mark Elliott in this HD video interview at the Sluice Box on the Rubicon Trail!
Mark Elliott’s purpose-built Toyota Land Cruiser 4×4 (left) plies the Rubicon Trail at the June 2014 WFTW Rubicon Super Event. Mark supports Vets and trail running activities at the Rubicon and other Sierra trails. At right, several of the participant drivers, Vets, the organizers and Mark Elliott pause at the granite bowl for a photo on the tail end of the day’s run over the Rubicon Trail!
Without the help of volunteers, these WFTW Rubicon Super Event runs would not be possible. The organizers, 4×4 clubs and individual four-wheelers volunteer their time, material resources and fuel to the Wheelers for the Wounded cause. Drivers commit to a three-day weekend plus their travel time to the event. Like this June 2014 WFTW HD video event coverage, 4WD Mechanix Magazine supported and filmed the 2010, 2011, 2012 WFTW Rubicon Super Events. These Vets deserve our support and an opportunity to enjoy our very best and most exciting public lands. As the Nevada 4×4 volunteers form a Nevada chapter of Wheelers for the Wounded, 4WD Mechanix Magazine looks forward to continuing this coverage at Nevada-based events!