Join one person's simple gesture of kindness, a wave, to show support for America's true heroes, our wounded warriors. Ric Ryan, a Marine who fought in Vietnam, has been walking and waving for several years to raise awareness for UCLA Operation Mend, a unique program that restores the faces, limbs, minds and spirits of our nation's most severely injured and disfigured military service men and women.
Post a photo or video of you and/or your friends waving on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Vine using hashtag #wave4operationmend.
Ric Ryan will be walking and waving in the NYC 2014 Veteran's Day Parade with the UCLA Operation Mend team of patients, surgeons, caregivers, friends and families.
Ric Ryan began with a quest: to walk every day in the hope of escaping his demons from combat in Vietnam. Then he added a twist. Each time someone waved to him as he passed, he would respond with a wave, and donate 25 cents from his disability checks to Operation Mend, UCLA's program to provide medical services to soldiers disfigured by war in Iraq and Afghanistan. The people in the rural California town of Murphys, where Ryan and his wife live, took notice, and soon they began to open their own wallets. What began as a trickle of donations became a flood, and in three years Ryan raised more than $48,000 in contributions - while donating another $19,000 himself.
Now the 68-year-old Marine Corps vet known as the Walking Man of Murphy will be taking another walk, this time in New York City on November 11, with the UCLA Operation Mend team in the America's Parade, which is the oldest and largest event in the United States honoring the men and women who have defended the country's freedoms.