This Marine Veteran’s Final Wish Roars To LifeMatthew Russell
When he was a marine, Walter “Vernell” Holderfield loved to hit the road on his bike and feel the wind on his face. He thought his biking days were over after a respiratory condition sapped his strength to such a degree that he couldn’t ride anymore. Even though his health was in terminal decline, VA employees and volunteers managed to fulfill the Vietnam vet’s wish of hitting the open road one last time. As thousands of cheering members of the Marion community watched, Holderfield took off from the Marion, Illinois, VA Medical Center with a procession of a 100 bikes and a police escort on a ride he will never forget.