2015 Warrior Ride
September 10-13th 2015
2015 marks the tenth annual Warrior Ride of the Willis Foundation.
This year the riders traveled 250+ miles from Bay City, MI through Lansing, Jackson, Battle Creek and then on to the Fort Custer National Cemetery where Corporal Willis is buried, and finally to the Kalamazoo Country Club. At the Country Club, the Willis Foundation hosted a reception for the riders, families, guests, and dignitaries. During this reception, the 2015 scholarship recipient was awarded their scholarship.
Adler Smith, the son of Staff Sergeant Christopher Smith, is the 2015 Corporal Christopher Kelly Willis Foundation scholarship recipient. Adler will receive a college scholarship intended to cover the entire unmet need of his college tuition and expenses.
SSgt. Smith was killed during his second tour in Iraq. On Christmas Eve, 2008, SSgt. Smith and his squadron were traveling over a bridge in Baghdad when an IED exploded, collapsing a portion of the bridge and sending their Humvee into the canal below. SSgt. Smith’s fellow soldiers disobeyed orders and refused to leave the water until he was out. Five men in Smith’s squadron had to be treated for hypothermia in their unsuccessful attempt to save Smith’s life and the lives of two others. SSgt. Smith left behind a fifteen-month-old son, Adler Smith (now eight-years-old). He made the ultimate sacrifice and we are proud to honor his memory during this year’s Warrior Ride.