Frank Prigmore has spent the past few years hosting a concert event designed to raise funds and awareness for wounded veterans, and last month was invited to participate in a memorial event commemorating the 20th anniversary of 9/11 and honoring the veterans who fought in the War Against Terrorism.
Prigmore, of Campbell, said he met the organizer of the ride, Mike Nehlsen of Hillsborough N.J. in McKinney in 2018 during the 4th Annual Ride For Warriors. McKinney resident and retired NYPD Sgt. and Hope For The Warriors Veteran Communuty Outreach Coordinator Gus Cabarcas introduced Prigmore to Cabarcas and the two became friends.
“In 2020 Mike called me and asked if I would be interested in attending and riding with him and a select few others on his 7th Annual Ride For Warriors,” Prigmore said. “I wasn't sure at first but when he told me what the ride was about I jumped on board almost immediately.”
The Seventh Annual Ride For Warriors visited all of the sites impacted on that fateful day and several others/ Prigmore met with multiple veterans along the way, listening to their stories and offering encouragement.
Prigmore said the motorcycle ride left him a changed man.
“It is really hard to put into few words what I experienced during those days,” he said. The emotion, sadness, anger and then after to turn it off to talk with someone about what our mission was and and about Hope. To seek out veterans and tell them about Hope.”
The ride began in New York City on Aug. 20, and over the next five days Prigmore and the others visited the Gettysburg battlefield, the Flight 93 Memorial, the Pentagon Memorial, the Changing of the Guards at Arlington National Cemetery, the National Museum of the Marine Corps and multiple other stops.
Prigmore recalled a wounded female veteran he met during a stop in Springfield, Va., who suffered from seizures due to traumatic brain injuries.
“She told me how she was in search of a Seizure Service Dog but how expensive they were and she didn't know how she was going to get one,” Prigmore said. “I told her she was the exact reason Hope exists.”
Prigmore referred her to the hopeforthewarriors.org web site and explained the process of applying for assistance.
“She called me this past Monday and was excited,” Prigmore said. “She just got off with Hope and they are getting her a Seizure Service Dog and she was even more excited when she learned it would be a Rescue Dog from a pound. They have trained individuals that will seek out the right dog with a certain set of attributes and behaviors to train for her. She said how will I ever repay this, I told her you can repay it by telling your story, telling about Hope, telling another Veteran about Hope that's how it works.”
Because of his involvement with the event, Prigmore was unable to organize his 8th Annual Wounded Heroes Benefit Concert, which normally is conducted during the Patriot Day weekend, but noted how last month’s ride raised more than $100,000 for Ride For The Warriors.
“In the end I know our efforts will help a Veteran some way and that is what is the most important thing for me along with remembering those that lost their lives on September 11, 2001 and those that answered the Call to Defend the World against Terrorism,” Prigmore said.