Emily Baucum, News On 6
TULSA, Oklahoma -- After six deployments overseas, most recently in Afghanistan, you'd think a Tulsa Marine would be ready for some R&R. Not so -- his version of time off: bicycling across the country.
Marine Major Bill Conner rode into Green Country just in time for Mother's Day. His mother, Mary Ann Conner, gets a running start.
"You just get that surge when you see your son and off you go," Mary Ann said.
She's waited more than a year and a half to see her Marine.
"Oh, it's good to be back in Tulsa," Bill said.
A family's reunited. A hero back on Sooner Soil, but he won't be cooling his wheels for very long.
"America really is a beautiful country," Bill said.
Major Bill Conner would know. He's ridden across deserts, past windmills, even down Route 66 riding from sunrise to sunset raising money along the way for Semper Fi, an organization that helps injured troops.
"One of the big things they do is when the Marine is injured in the hospital they'll fly the family member out to the hospitals so that mom or that family member can be with that Marine," he said.
His two-wheel trek will take him coast to coast. The finish line: a $35,000 donation to Semper Fi.
But first, He gave a very special military mom flowers and one very surprise visit.
"You kind of add up the miles and I'm thinking wouldn't that be just the most awesome Mother's Day gift. Just so I could hug him because I haven't hugged him since December 2009," she said.
A magical moment for a mother who supports the flag, whether it's pinned to her son's Marines uniform, or flying from the back of his bicycle.
"I don't think there's anything more beautiful than the American flag flying in the wind and it's helped keep me safe along the way," Bill said.
The major will stay in Tulsa a couple days to rest and catch up with family. After that, his journey across the country continues but he needs your help to make it.