My Challenge and Cause
I plan to ride by road bike solo x-country from Virginia Beach, VA to San Diego, CA to honor my mom’s legacy of helping children with special needs by raising money for Any Baby Can of San Antonio, Inc., a charity that she helped start back in 1982. My route has me going up through the Appalachian to Ohio then to San Antonio and then to San Diego. The route is roughly 3,300 miles. The ride will begin April 1, 2018.
Vance Villarreal’s Bio
I was born July 11, 1984 at Santa Rosa hospital in San Antonio, Texas to a family of five. In 2003, after graduating from high school, I left San Antonio to accept an appointment to attend the United States Naval Academy. In 2007 I received my degree in Oceanography and a commission in the United States Navy as a Surface Warfare Officer. My assignments have included USS KAUFFMAN, USS CHOSIN, Naval Post Graduate school, USS SHOUP, and Destroyer Squadron 2. My last official day in the Navy will be April 30, 2018.
Earlier this year I was sitting at my office desk wondering what the next step in my life would be. I knew that after serving 11 years in the Navy I would need to transition and get a job in the civilian world. But, before taking that next step I wanted to pause and do something worthwhile. I wanted to do something both physically and psychologically challenging that would benefit a good cause but I had no idea what or how.
I spoke to my father, family, and friends about my mom and her work to see if this would give me an idea. My mom passed away December 25, 2014 and she never really talked about her work. My mom was a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner and taught at the University of Texas Health Science Center but this was the extent of what I knew about her job. After speaking to family friends I was able to see my challenge. You see, my mom worked with many families that were raising a child with special needs. They spoke so highly of my mother and how she helped them. I was flabbergasted that I had never heard of these stories or the legacy my mom left behind. She had a passion and love of helping children and their families. This is were my challenge was born.