Marine bicycles across country to reenlist

7 Jun 2002 | GySgt. Tim McGough

After a 3300-mile bicycle ride, a 1st FSSG Marine reenlisted today in The Bronx, N.Y.  GySgt. Dennis Fahey, Career Planner for Headquarters & Service Battalion Camp Pendleton, Calif., began his 38-day cross-country trek from the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco and finished at Liberty Park, N.J. with the Statue of Liberty greeting him in New York Harbor.

? I had been wanting to do this for the past 12 years,? said Fahey.  ?I thought it would be a neat thing to do.?  At the end of his ride the Queens, N.Y. native planned on reenlisting.  His former commander LtCol Ray Griffith who is the presently the Inspector/Instructor, 2nd Battalion 25th Marine Regiment planned to reenlist Fahey.

Griffith along with Fahey?s aunt and uncle Joe and Mary Lynch from The Bronx, N.Y. and his sister Eileen from Atlanta, Ga., arrived at Liberty Park to greet their Marine Corps cross-country traveler.  ?I think it was amazing what Dennis did,? said his uncle.  ?I knew he had the determination just because he?s a Marine.?

Fahey?s determination took him through rain, snow and elevations up 6,800 feet to make it to his last reenlistment in the Marine Corps.  ?I just started my twentieth year and since I?m a bike rider I thought this would be appropriate,? said Fahey.  ?I also felt that with the attacks on America I thought I?d stick around for a while.?

Along the way Fahey stopped at various fire departments to find places to camp.  The firefighters he met presented him with their unit patches to bring to New York and give to the FDNY.  He also started collecting stray American Flags he found on the side of the road that had fallen off cars.  ?A lot of things that happened to me on the road weren?t planned,? said the cyclist.  ?I?m just glad and honored that they happened.?

Through his 15-state odyssey Fahey came across the real spirit of America.  ?I met a man named Ron Harman from Winchester, Ill.,? he said.  ?I talked with him for about 15-minutes and he offered me a room at a house he was renovating.  I mean he only knew me for 15 minutes!?  Fahey was offered help at every turn during his ride.  He said, that people were generous and offered him assistance everywhere.   ?America is filled with kind and interesting people,? he added.  ?I met the best of our country during my trip and it reaffirms the pride I have being a Marine.?

On a side note Fahey only had two flat tires and two minor injuries.  His more than 70-pound bike has 24 gears and he used every one of them to get across country.

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