Retired colonel from Nebraska rides his bike across the country to honor his lost soldiers
SPALDING, Neb. – A Nebraska man is headed to Arlington National Cemetery to honor fallen troops, and he’s getting there on his bicycle.
Col. Chris Kolenda, who served as a battalion commander in Afghanistan in 2007, established the Fallen Hero Honor Ride to commemorate the six soldiers he lost under his airborne unit command.
Kolenda will be riding his bike through each of their hometowns. He started his trek in the hometown of PFC Chris Pfeiffer of Spalding, who was killed in action by small arms fire.
The Spalding portion of Kolenda’s journey started with a ceremony honoring Pfeiffer, followed by Kolenda leaving town early Sunday. He traveled through northeast Nebraska, including portions of Colfax and Stanton Counties.
The ride through Stanton County went along Highway 32, and a special stop was made at the Don Molacek Veterans Memorial just off the highway, north of Howells in southeastern Stanton County.
Kolenda, an Omaha native, then traveled toward Carroll, Iowa, the hometown of Adrian Hike. He will then continue east to hometowns in Illinois, Indiana, Pennsylvania and Virginia, culminating with a trip to Arlington National Cemetery.
The ride will take a total of 28 days and span 1,700 miles.