Wednesday, April 23, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Mote family healing, helping soldiers

By
From page A4 | September 27, 2013 | 1 Comment

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

TO HONOR Sky Mote's sacrifice, the Mote family has dedicated countless hours supporting organizations that help America's servicemen and women, including a fundraiser next week. Courtesy photo

In the year since the death of their beloved son and brother Marine Staff Sgt. Sky Mote, the Mote family has had to come to terms with the painful details surrounding Aug. 10, 2012.

Serving his third tour of duty, Sky, 27, worked for the Marine Special Operations Command in Afghanistan and trained local police to drive out Taliban violence. Featured this summer in a TIME magazine article, novelist Nick McDonnell detailed how Sky and two other Special Forces operators were murdered by a supposed Afghan ally in a late-night, insider attack (known as a “Green on Blue” betrayal).

Sky’s father Russ said the family lived in a fog following their loss.“One year ago I was in shock,” he said. “Today we want to say thank you to the wonderful people and organizations that have helped us through the past year.”

Last October, with only a few week’s notice, Sky’s brother Tyson and mom Marcia were invited to join The FreeWheel Foundation’s Ride for Semper Fi, a 430-mile bicycle ride from Phoenix to San Diego, which since 2008 has raised $1.2 million for injured military heroes.

“My wife Marcia hadn’t trained for that kind of ride,” said Russ.

Yet what moved the family most about the experience, Russ said, were the handprints all over the back of Marcia’s shirt by the end — the hands of Marines that physically, and emotionally, pushed her along. Being with them made the Motes feel closer to Sky and certain of their own new mission.

“When the ride was over, Marcia said, ‘Now I know why Sky liked being a Marine,’” Russ recalled.

Being enveloped in that kind of support got the Mote family through the past year and they’ve found great comfort being surrounded by military heroes like Sky who, they believe, are carrying on their son’s legacy of helping other service men and women.

This October the family will bike the 2013 Ride for Semper Fi once more, this time a more grueling trek through the mountains of Arizona, where they’ll climb 16,000 vertical feet in less than four days. But first the Motes need to raise their $10,000 goal for The FreeWheel Foundation, which will then distribute the funds evenly between The Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund, The Knights of Heroes Foundation and The MARSOC Foundation.

The Motes and Toby Keith’s I Love this Bar & Grill, 440 Palladio Parkway in Folsom, will host A Night With Heroes: Fundraiser for America’s Injured Soldiers at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 3.

“Toby Keith’s reached out to us right after Sky’s death, but it took me awhile to be there emotionally,” said Russ.“Then I kept thinking about how Sky was adamant about helping Marines. This is our family’s way to continue his legacy.”

Toby Keith’s will provide live music and there is no cover charge. There will be line dancing, music, raffle prizes and a silent auction, which is the sole fundraising portion of the evening. Russ said they are actively seeking more auction donations.

“It will be a fun evening where you can rub elbows with those who defend our freedom,” said Russ.

Capt. Derek Herrera, Marine Special Operations, will be the featured speaker. Herrera was injured one month before Sky and the Motes now consider him a good friend.

“The dedication these service members have … it’s unbelievable,” said Russ. “They want to stay and serve despite their injuries. What is amazing to me about Capt. Herrera is his determination to keep serving and leading Marines.”

The Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit set up to provide immediate financial support for injured and critically ill members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families.

The Knights of Heroes Foundation empowers children who have lost their fathers during military service by providing positive adult mentorship, character development and lasting friendships forged during an annual wilderness adventure camp.

MARSOC Foundation is committed tohelping those who have sacrificed the most.” The primary service of the MARSOC foundation is to assist personnel who are injured or wounded in combat, and assist the families of MARSOC personnel with health and welfare challenges, support memorials and services that commemorate the fallen. In the weeks after Sky’s death, the MARSOC Foundation made it possible for the Mote family to travel to several Marine events and memorials, which first allowed them to connect to soldiers who served alongside Sky.

“We want to give back to the incredible groups that have helped us so much,” said Russ.”These foundations go beyond what the government does for service men and women.”

The Mote family would also like to thank the following people and businesses for their support during the past year: Folsom Bike, Town Center Bike & Tri, Folsom Lake Realty, Jim Hyatt Produce, Beretta Physical Therapy and Revolutions Cycling Center, Raceday Transport, Ride for Sky, Brooks Elementary School parent organization and Buckeye Union School District.

To donate a silent auction item contact Lisa Petrini at 916-984-8629 or lpetrini@tobykeithusa.com or Russ Mote at gretaldog55@yahoo.com. Visit rideforsky.net to make an online donation. Tax ID 27-1838385 FreeWheel Foundation.

“This means a lot to me and to my family,” said Russ. “But it means even more to the soldiers who have sacrificed so much.”

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 1 comment

.

News

Downtown group coordinates painting, awnings

By Wendy Schultz | From Page: A1

 
More mountain lion sightings reported

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A1, 8 Comments

 
Supervisor Nutting trial begins

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1, 102 Comments | Gallery

Sanford murder case to jury

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Herard over the back fence: Try fishing at Wakamatsu

By Bob Billingsley | From Page: B1

Gearing tax questions to correct office saves time

By Treasurer-Tax Collector | From Page: A3

 
.

Opinion

My turn: More than a buzzword

By Special to the Democrat | From Page: A4, 73 Comments

 
Building restored

By Mountain Democrat | From Page: A4

 
Outstanding dog

By Mountain Democrat | From Page: A4

.

Letters

‘Parents, be afraid’ letter

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 53 Comments

 
Ukranian situation

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 5 Comments

Misquote

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 11 Comments

 
Altshuler framing

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 9 Comments

National Day of Prayer

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 7 Comments

 
.

Sports

Pedal power at the forefront next month

By Jerry Heinzer | From Page: A6 | Gallery

 
Outside with Charlie: Transitioning

By Charlie Ferris | From Page: A6

Pitching the ‘Root’ cause of Trojans’ victory

By Mike Bush | From Page: A6 | Gallery

 
Sports Scene: April 22, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A7

Roundup: April 22, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A7 | Gallery

 
.

Prospecting

4-H’ers star at showcase

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
At a glance: Look for fireballs

By Mimi Escabar | From Page: B2, 1 Comment

Authors to share their stories

By Pat Lakey | From Page: B2, 2 Comments

 
Church to host human trafficking conference

By Pollock Pines | From Page: B3

Grow For It! Flower of Easter

By Barbara Schuchart | From Page: B5

 
.

Essentials

Crime Log: April 1-3

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2

 
Weather stats 4-22-14

By Michael Raffety | From Page: A2

Building permits 4/7-11/2014

By Michael Raffety | From Page: A2, 1 Comment

 
.

Obituaries

Bobby Lloyd Bridges

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
Harry Frank Harper

By Contributor | From Page: A2, 6 Comments

Marion “Wayne” Griswold

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
.

Real Estate

.

Comics

New York Times Crossword

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
Flying McCoys

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Speed Bump

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
Tundra

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Horoscope, Thursday, April 24, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
Horoscope, Wednesday, April 23, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Working It Out

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
TV Listings

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Shoe

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
Sudoku

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Rubes

By Contributor | From Page: A8