Fallen Air Force Special Operator's Parents Ride 6,000 Miles to Raise Funds for Special Operations Warrior Foundation

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Todd and Debbie Argel-Bastian's world came crashing in three years ago when they received word that their son, Derek, an Air Force special operations combat controller had been killed in action while serving in Iraq. In honor of their fallen son, the Bastian's are riding 6,000 from Lompoc, CA to Milwaukee, WI to help raise awareness and funds for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides full, free college educations to surviving children of fallen special operations personnel, including Derek's four-year old son, Logan.

Within 30 days of the notification to families of fallen warriors, the SOWF is in contact, providing counseling and assistance to their children.

Todd and Debbie Argel-Bastian's world came crashing in three years ago when they received word that their son, Derek, Argel, an Air Force special operations combat controller had been killed in action while serving in Iraq.

Argel, who graduated of the Air Force Academy, left behind a legacy of dedication, motivation and perseverance as well as a leaving behind his wife, Wendy and young son, Logan.

This weekend, Todd and Debbie of Lompoc, Calif., will honor their son by remembering his adventurous personality by dedicating a 6,000-mile motorcycle ride in his name. The Capt Derek Argel Memorial Ride will take the Bastian's from Lompoc, Calif, south to San Diego where they will join a group of riders who are headed to Milwaukee for the 105th anniversary of the Harley-Davidson company.

Starting Saturday August 16th and running through September 14th, the 6,000 mile journey will present opportunities for Debbie to meet with groups along the route and discuss her son and four of Derek's comrades who died with him on Memorial Day, 2005. Her ultimate goal is to raise $105,000 for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation , a non-profit organization that provides full college educations to the surviving children fallen special operations personnel, including Debbie's grandson, Logan.

Because Argel was a member of the tightly knit military special operations community, his four- year old son will be provided a full, four year college scholarship waiting for him, courtesy of the Special Operations Warrior Foundation. Argel died while serving in Iraq as a Special Operations Combat Controller.

The Special Operations Warrior Foundation has been helping the families of special operators at the time of their greatest need since 1980, said Debbie. "Within 30 days of the notification to families of fallen warriors, the SOWF is in contact, providing counseling and assistance to their children."

The road home to Lompoc for Todd and Debbie includes a very special visit to the U.S. Air Force Academy of which Derek was a proud 2001 graduate.

Donations in support of the Capt Derek Argel Memorial Ride can be made online by logging on to http://www.specialops.org or http://www.firstgiving.com/debbieargel

The Special Operations Warrior Foundation, based out of Tampa, FL, is a four-star rated charity from the nation's leading charity watchdog group and has several notable supporters, including pro golfer, Phil Mickelson, NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt, Jr., and the New York Yankees. Currently the foundation has more than 750 students in its program, and 120 students enrolled in colleges and universities across the country.

Itinerary for Capt Derek Argel Memorial Ride

Aug 16:    Depart Lompoc, CA headed south to San Diego
Aug 17: San Diego
Aug 18: Yuma, AZ
Aug 19: Tucson, AZ
Aug 20: Las Cruces, NM
Aug 21:    Roswell, NM
Aug 22:    Amarillo, TX
Aug 23:    Branson, MO
Aug 26:    Springfield, IL
Aug. 27: St. Charles
Aug. 28: Green Bay, WI
Aug 29:    Milwaukee, WI
Sept. 1: Junction City, KS
Sept. 4: Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, CO
Sept. 7: Durango, CO
Sept. 9: Las Vegas, NV
Sept. 12: Hesperia, CA
Sept. 13: Edwards AFB
Sept. 14: Lompoc, CA (Mission Complete)

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