UPDATE: Mother of fallen U.S. Marine honors son with memorial ri - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

#NOOGASTRONG: ONE YEAR LATER

UPDATE: Mother of fallen U.S. Marine honors son with memorial ride

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Skip Wells and his mother, Cathy Wells, in a family photo. Skip Wells and his mother, Cathy Wells, in a family photo.
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

UPDATE: Saturday is exactly one week form the anniversary of the terrorist attack on Chattanooga’s military.

Men and women on motorcycles hit the road today to honor one of the heroes from that day.

There was a huge community support for one of the men died protecting our country. Over 500 bikers traveled more than 100 miles from Marietta Georgia to the Thunder Creek Harley Davidson on Lee Highway.

Motorcycles of nearly every make, model and color filled the Thunder Creek Harley Davidson parking lot proving one year later the community is still Chattanooga Strong. “You look in the mirror and see bikes as far as you can see. It is pretty impressive. A lot of support from the bridge's again as well,” said Jason Weeks with Wingman Motorcycle Club.

Riders from across the area attended the event. All to support the foundation created in honor of Lance Corporal Skip Wells. “Kids that might need help going to school, we can help them. Skip was one of those who needed help going to school and paying for it. This will help,” said Cathy Wells.

His foundation raises money for the junior ROTC and music programs at his alma mater Sprayberry High School in Marietta. That's where this ride began. It finished on Lee Highway in Chattanooga, where they were greeted by stars and stripes. “He was on somebody's bike. He followed us the whole way. I know he did. He would be out here.”

The band, Voo Doo Slim played music for the event. “What happened in Chattanooga, hit home hard. It is a tragedy at home. It is devastating to our community. We were glad to jump in and help. An honor, just wow, that they asked us,” said members of the band.

“Everything he wanted momma told him no. Now he is up there laughing at me because I am doing all this. I am doing it in honor of him,” said Cathy Wells.

Making him proud one year later. “Unbelievable the support they have given us. Almost like a great big game of dodgeball. You got the arms link together, it's Chattanooga Strong.”

Every dollar raised at Saturday's memorial ride goes to the Lance Corporal Skip Wells Foundation. 


PREVIOUS STORY: It's been almost a year since the terrorist attacks at the military recruiting office on Lee Highway and the Navy Operational Support Center on Amnicola Highway.
    
Sgt. Carson Holmquist, Gunnery Sgt. Thomas Sullivan, Lance Corporal Squire "Skip" Wells, Staff Sgt. David Wyatt and Logistics Specialist Second Class Randall Smith were killed in the shootings.

The mother of Lance Corporal Skip Wells said she wants to do everything she can to honor her son and the other victims and families from the July 16th shootings.

"I miss him all the time. There's never a day, there's never a moment that goes by that I don't," Cathy Wells said.

The youngest of the Fallen Five, 21-year-old LCpl Skip Wells was shot and killed on July 16th.
    
Cathy didn't just lose her hero that day, she lost her only child.

"I've got a whole in my heart that can never be filled, and that's going to be there forever," she said fighting back tears, "So there's nothing that brings me comfort."

What she can do, and what she is doing, is honoring and remembering her son and the Fallen Five.

Shortly after Skip's death, she co-founded the Lance Corporal Skip Wells Foundation.

Last August, the foundation held its first memorial ride and Cathy said she was amazed by the turnout.

"As amazed as I was with all the people that lined the streets when we were bringing him home, with all the people on the overpasses when we were bringing him home, when we had the funeral, that to me was amazing. And the fact that a couple of months later, maybe a month later, they were still lining the streets," Cathy said, "He touched a lot of lives that I had no idea."

Every dollar raised at the memorial ride goes to the Lance Corporal Skip Wells foundation.

That foundation donates money to Skip's high school, ROTC, band and scholarships.

In was at the Sprayberry High School ROTC when Skip decided he wanted to join the Marines.

"He said, you've protected me all my life. Now it's my turn," Cathy said.

Cathy has a tattoo on her right forearm, less than a year old, with the words "Skip" and "Until I see you again."

She said that tattoo is one of the few things now giving her the strength to keep moving forward.

"I"m not going to forget and I don't want them to think anyone else is going to forget. It's important," Cathy said.

The Lance Corporal Skip Wells Foundation Memorial Ride is Saturday, July 9th.

Riders will leave Sprayberry High School at 11 a.m. and will ride to Thunder Creek Harley Davidson on Lee Highway in Chattanooga.

It costs $20 per bike, $10 to ride on the back. There will be vendors and tents set up at Thunder Creek once the ride is over to continue to collect donations.

For more information, you can visit the Lance Corporal Skip Wells Foundation Facebook page.

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