The Herald Bulletin
---- — PENDLETON — Correctional Industrial Facility (Pendleton) custody officer Steven Hatfield, supported by family and friends, raised over $1,000 for Homes for Wounded Warriors (HWWP) on his bicycle.
After their last child moved out, Hatfield and his wife decided cycling could be something fun they could do together that would also provide an excellent exercise program. They started out small, gradually adding more miles to their rides.
Looking for a challenge, Hatfield joined the Bloomington Bicycle Clubs “Rain Ride” (Ride Across Indiana). He started training months in advance for the big event, logging 1,500 miles and 111 hours on his bike.
While he was in training, his coworkers at the Correctional Industrial Facility (CIF) were gathering donations to benefit Homes for Wounded Warriors. Hatfield served in the U.S. Air Force and his son currently serves as a Marine, so the cause has a special meaning for him.
“It means a lot to be able to help HWWP provide a safe place for our soldiers when they come home,” he said.
“The staff at CIF enjoys giving back to the community and this was a great way to raise funds,” added facility Superintendent Wendy Knight.
On July 13 Steven joined over 1300 other riders at Saint-Mary-of-the-Woods College at Terre Haute and rode to Earlham College in Richmond.
“The two biggest challenges were hills outside of Knightstown and Centerville,” Steven said. “There is a 4,400 foot elevation along the route, and those two hills seem a lot longer when on a bike”. Many of the bikers commented this year was even more difficult than previous years because of the unusual 10 mph head wind.
“One of the reasons for riding West to East is that the wind is supposed to be at your back,” Steven explained, “but that didn’t work this year. The ride was harder than I thought it would be.”
During the difficult ride, he drew strength from the support he received from his wife, who made sure he had food and drinks at all his rest stops.
“My wife’s support during all the training and during the ride is what allowed me to be able to do this. Next year she is hoping to join me on the ride,” he said.
HWWP is a non-profit organization designed and focused on providing specially designed homes to seriously wounded veterans of Iraqi and Enduring Freedom. The organization is military centric with more than two-thirds of the staff being prior military. HWWP’s is supported through the assistance of state and local organizations, businesses and individuals.