In October 2012, Sgt. 1st Class Ryan Savard, 29, a Green Beret from Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg, N.C., was killed during a firefight in Konduz Province, Afghanistan. It was his fifth deployment there.
Thursday, one of his comrades in that fight, Sgt. 1st Class Cris Valley, will be completing a coast-to-coast motorcycle ride to raise money for scholarships in Savard’s name for the children of Green Berets killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Valley is scheduled to arrive in Camden at 6 p.m. Thursday, and will continue to Fort Bragg and the end of his journey Saturday. A barbecue to raise funds will be held at the Mullikin Law Firm in Camden, which is a primary sponsor of the ride.
“We would love for people to come out, jump on their bikes and ride with us,” said Sgt. 1st Class Chad Lawson, who also served with Savard in the 3rd Special Forces Group.
Savard attended high school in New Hampshire and Arizona and enlisted in the Army on Aug. 29, 2001. He first served as an Army helicopter repairman for three years, and then with Special Operations Forces for more than eight years, deploying six times to Iraq and Afghanistan.
The Ryan Savard Memorial Scholarship Fund will be established at St. John Paul II Catholic School in Whispering Pines, N.C., near Fort Bragg, the home of the Green Berets. The scholarship benefits the child of a Special Operations Forces non-commissioned officer.
As Valley completes his ride on a BMW R90 motorcycle from Coronado, Calif., to Fort Bragg, a team from the Mullikin Law Firm will follow in a chase car and trailer.
“Selflessness and sacrifice are not simply commitment-buzzwords to those who serve in our nation’s special operations forces,” said attorney Tom Mullikin, who serves as commander of the S.C. State Guard, a volunteer organization that assists the S.C. National Guard when needed.
“For those who have fallen, we owe a debt of our own commitment to their legacy and, yes, their families,” he said.