By Nate Herring and Rick West
LAWTON, Okla. — Four U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Tulsa District employees took to the road during the Tour of the Wichitas/Tom Chapman Memorial Ride, June 23, 2012, to pay tribute to Tom Chapman, a former employee of the Tulsa District Fort Sill Area Office.
The ride, which had more than 250 participants, was renamed for Chapman, who suffered fatal injuries from a fall he sustained in last year's ride.
"Not only did Tom have a love of cycling and recognize the inherent health benefits but he especially relished the opportunities to partake in it along with family and friends," said Rick West, Fort Sill area engineer, who along with Corps employees Braden West, Brad Carter, and Kim Shirley, participated in the ride.
Chapman's son Robb was on hand to lead the riders to their respective routes which traversed through Fort Sill and the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge and ranged from 11 to 56 miles in length. Proceeds from the event are being used to help promote development of bicycle trails in the Lawton/ Fort Sill Area.
"The scenery and wildlife make this ride one of the best in the state and had special meaning to those who have worked alongside of Tom," West said. "Most of the routes passed the Unaccompanied Enlisted Personnel Housing project, which was last project Tom worked on."