ST. GEORGE — After a minor setback about two weeks ago, Vietnam War veteran Raymond M. Black, 71, continues his 2,000 mile journey toward Florida to raise awareness and funds for POWs, MIAs and veterans nationwide.
About two weeks ago, just outside of Farmington, New Mexico, Black’s rechargeable Pride Pursuit XL Scooter broke down after the motor burned up. The motor had to be specially ordered and took two weeks to arrive. Luckily, Pride Pursuit made a promise to Black that any complications with his scooter during his voyage would be completely paid for by the company.
“The motor was supposed to last him all the way to Florida,” Vietnam Veteran Dan Greathouse said, “but it couldn’t handle traveling so many miles. The company sent him a free one, just as they promised.”
After replacing the burned up motor, Black was back on track and arrived in Farmington, New Mexico, two days ago, where a family invited him to stay over Memorial Day. Through phone calls and emails, Black has kept Greathouse informed of his travels, and since his departure on April 15, the motor burnout has been his only setback.
“He’s about two weeks behind because of the motor burning up,” Greathouse said. “But he is having a ball. He hasn’t had to pay for anything — not a meal or a motel room.”
In an email sent to Greathouse on May 18 from New Mexico, Black wrote:
“Even though I have been stopped here for over two weeks now this was supposed to happen because of all the wonderful enjoyable once in a life time experiences. My scooter still runs but only at half speed. They put it on a trailer on Friday May 9th and I rode it carrying my America flag and the New Mexico state flag in the annual ‘walking together for a healthier nation.'”
After his stay of a few days in Farmington, Black is now coasting along U.S. Route 550 headed toward Clovis, New Mexico.
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