Barksdale Freedom Riders sponsor fundraiser for wounded Airman
on Friday, 31 July 2009

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by Senior Airman Alexandra Longfellow
2d Bomb Wing Public Affairs

7/30/2009 - BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. -- The Barksdale Freedom Riders sponsored a Highway Run to raise money for Staff Sgt. David Flowers, 2d Civil Engineer Squadron explosive ordnance disposal technician, who was injured during his recent deployment. 

While Sergeant Flowers was deployed with the 455th Air Expeditionary Wing at Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan, he stepped on an anti-personnel mine while his team was clearing a weapons cache. Sergeant Flowers lost his right leg below his knee during the explosion. His left leg was also completely shattered and he broke his right wrist and hand.

The Highway Run included bikers from many clubs including the Barksdale Freedom Riders, Shreveport Hogs, the Patriot Guard Riders and individual riders. 

The Poker Run is traditional in motorcycle rallies nationwide. The event kicked off at 9a.m. July 25th at the 8th Air Force museum parking lot where Lorenz Walker, Mayor of Bossier City, spoke during the opening ceremony as a guest speaker. 

The riders drove 105 miles throughout the city visiting five locations where they picked a playing card. The riders had the opportunity to visit a sixth location and pick a wild card.
"The Poker Run is to raise money for Sergeant Flowers and his family," said Senior Master Sgt. Ruben Delgado, Barksdale Freedom Riders president. "The Freedom Riders tried to come up with an event that we could do to help out as a club and the Poker Run was the perfect event." 

All earnings will go to Sergeant Flowers and his family to help dispute the costs of being relocated to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. Sergeant Flowers will be undergoing many surgeries and physical therapy. 

"We raised a total of $5,615 today," said Senior Master Sgt. Sanders Louvierre Jr., 2d Aircraft Maintenance Squadron adjutant to the commander and Barksdale Freedom Rider. "There is more money to come though. We raised about $4,000 in merchandise sold during the event. We will be writing a check as soon as we are done collecting money. 

"We want the Flowers' family to live life like they are use to," added Sergeant Louvierre.
A total of 150 riders registered for the Poker Run and the local community provided the prizes for the winning hand. 

"We received a $1,000 donation from a local community," said Sergeant Delgado. "You do not understand the generosity of the people of the community has until you get a donation like that. 

"Hopefully this money can help him out with anything," added Sergeant Delgado.
After all the money is collected, Sergeant Flowers' flight superintendent will present the money to Sergeant Flowers' wife, Elizabeth.

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Last update: Friday, 31 July 2009

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