Our son Taylor (LCpl Taylor B. Prazynski USMC) was killed in action in the Al Anbar province in a town called Kharma, Iraq on May 9, 2005. A few days after we received the knock on our door, we were notified of a newspaper article written about Taylor and it mentioned that several other soldiers were wounded in the same attack. We knew we could not help Taylor, but we wanted to help those who were wounded (his brothers and sisters in arms). We asked for donations in lieu of flowers at his visitation and raised approximately $15,000 that we eventually donated to a military charity.
About a month later, friends of ours came up with the idea to raise additional funds by hosting a motorcycle ride to honor Taylor. That same year, Fairfield soldiers Pfc Timothy Hines and LCpl Michael Cifuentes were also killed in Iraq. The second ride honored these soldiers. As the events continued, the event committee chose to honor all fallen heroes whose family had requested their soldier to be remembered during the ride.
In 2008, tragedy struck in a different way as our group of motorcycles were leaving Houston Woods State Park. A storm blew in way ahead of the weather report and our friends Tom & Stephanie Bobbinger were killed when their bike was hit by a falling tree.
After 13 successful years, the ride as we knew it came to an end as the ride organizers retired. A new committee was formed, comprised of friends who helped organize and support the original event. We decided we all wanted to continue the good work to honor the fallen and Tom & Stephanie, so Ride 4 Heroes was established in 2018.
We are proud to continue honoring those who gave the ultimate sacrifice, active military, veterans and first responders during our Ride 4 Heroes and sincerely thank everyone for your support in the past and in the future.
-John and Carol Prazynski