Business student rides with vets, meets President
Matthew Shelton is a regular at the gym, but he isn’t ordinarily a cyclist. But that didn’t stop him from cycling 30 miles over two days in late April.
Shelton, a junior majoring in management, and a Marine Corps veteran, was one of 70 veterans selected to participate in the 15th Annual Wounded Warrior Project White House Soldier Ride. He was the only attendee from Charleston.
Shelton said the ride was a great way to come together and have a once-in-a-lifetime experience. He said, “It was a great time of camaraderie and spending time with people who have been through what you’ve been through.”
The vets rode 17 miles in Annapolis, Maryland, on the first day, visited the White House on the second day, and rode 13 miles in Prince William Park outside Quantico, Virginia, on the third day. Shelton said while the Prince William Park ride was shorter, it was full of rolling hills which made it a harder ride.
At the White House, each veteran was greeted by President Trump, and he addressed the entire group. Shelton appreciated the president’s support of the veterans and said it was an interesting experience to be facing the camera instead of watching on TV.
He was surprised how well the vets connected and feels he has made friends for a lifetime. “They’ve been through the same or worse as I have,” said Shelton. He is also appreciative of the support veterans have on the Charleston Southern campus. He is a member of the Student Veterans Association and enjoys having other vets in class. “There is a large vet community at CSU,” he said.
Shelton is excited about the arrival of CSU’s third president, Dr. Dondi Costin, a fellow veteran. He also appreciates all President Jairy Hunter has done in making strides to be helpful to veterans attending CSU.
Shelton’s biggest supporter is his wife. He said, “She is able to juggle all the things to allow me to be in school and to go on the ride.” Shelton is looking forward to finishing his degree and entering the workforce and hopes to land a job in the transportation and logistics field.
Picture provided – Shelton pictured on left.