GUERNSEY--On Wednesday, they re-enacted history, delivering mail as part of the annual National Pony Express Association reride from California to Missouri. Saturday brought a different mission--creating some of their own history as they delivered hand-written letters from Wyoming elementary students to veterans residing at the Veteran’s Administration Home in Cheyenne, expressing thanks to the Vets for their service to the country.
Approximately 25 riders saddled up Wednesday to complete their portion of the annual national re-ride between Glendo and the Wyoming-Nebraska state line near Lyman, NE.
Riders included Dean, Marika, Decker and Rory Anderson, Curt Artery, Karen Bennett, Kerry Campbell, Kayla Foster, Tim and Elana Heer, Kye Hicks, Vick Hood, Laura Jeffrey, Pam Joern, Petra Keller, Dick Mickelesen, Angie Montgomery, Donnie Norvell, Christina Seemiller and Chloe Young.
Riders carry a large leather mochilla that has four locked pockets of letters that are carried across the 1,966 total miles of the Pony Express Trail. Riding day and night non-stop, the ride is held to commemorate the original route and work of the original Pony Express that operated between April of 1860 and November of 1861. Though short-lived, the Pony Express connected the East and the West of a rapidly expanding nation on the threshold of a civil war. And although it was soon obsolete with the advent of the telegraph, it became a revered legend of the Old West that Americans have come to cherish and celebrate.
In that same spirit, the “Ride for the Heroes” also honors some of America’s bravest--military Veterans who reside or under care at Cheyenne’s V.A. medical facility. Elementary students from Wyoming elementary schools in Cheyenne (Gilchrist, St. Mary’s Catholic, Anderson, Buffalo Ridge), Glenrock, Lingle, Rverton (Willow Creek), Torrington (Trail), and Wheatland (West), wrote letters and cards to express thanks for their military service and each resident receives at least one piece of mail.
This year, 418 letters were carried by riders Curt Artery, Les Bennington, Rick Bretton, Kayla Foster, Tony, Stephanie, Alicia and Adahline Goulart, Laura Jeffrey, Petra Keller, Christina Seemiller, and Chloe Young.