Face of America Liberty includes exceptional athletes from all backgrounds. Here are profiles of a few remarkable athletes who will be riding to West Point or who have participated in the ride in past years.
Meet our featured athletes
Bayshore, New York adaptive Army veteran Donna Zephrine served two overseas tours in Iraq in 2003 and 2004. During her deployments, she was subjected to relentless RPG and IED bombings, even while on base. Honorably discharged in 2006, she learned to manage her Post Traumatic Stress and significant hearing loss from the bombardment. She worked toward a Master’s Degree and building a life for herself on Long Island. Today, she leads an active life, enthusiastically participating in challenging outdoor sporting events with nonprofit organizations like World T.E.A.M. Donna has participated in Face of America annually since 2015 and in Face of America Liberty since its test run in 2015.
Retired Marine Corps veteran David Santamore of Barre, Vermont is a frequent participant in outdoor sporting events, including wheelchair tennis, sled hockey, skiing, sailing and cycling. A Vietnam veteran, David lost his left leg above the knee in 2005 when a vehicle broadsided his motorcycle. Becoming a regular participant in World T.E.A.M.’s Face of America ride to Gettysburg beginning in 2013, David competed as a team member in that autumn’s Adventure Team Challenge in western Colorado. In June 2014, he rode World T.E.A.M.’s CanAm Veterans Challenge from Ottawa, Ontario to Washington, D.C. His first Face of America Liberty was in October 2017.
Col Gregory Gadson
Col. Gregory Gadson lettered four years as co-captain for his Army Black Knights football team at West Point. In 2007, the former defensive tackle was serving as Commander of the 2-32 Field Artillery Battalion in Baghdad, Iraq. Returning to base following a memorial service, a roadside bomb destroyed his vehicle, taking both legs and injuring his right arm. Evacuated to Walter Reed in Washington, Col. Gadson took up hand cycling to maintain his physical fitness. His first Face of America was only two years later, and since then, the Virginia athlete has inspired other veterans and the able-bodied through regular participation. Of course, his acting career, starting when he battled aliens in the 2012 Universal Pictures’ science fiction movie, “Battleship” also provides inspiration to many.
Paul Tyler is an accomplished triathlete and cyclist who has participated in Face of America rides to Gettysburg since 2012. A current member of World T.E.A.M.’s board of directors and the organization’s former CEO and President, Paul is also a member of the event coordination committee for the Face of America Liberty cycling challenge. Participating in the planning of the Liberty ride since its test run in 2015, Paul also helped create World T.E.A.M.’s successful 2014 CanAm Veterans Challenge from Canada to the United States with adaptive military veterans. A member of the financial services business community, Tyler helps direct the financial success of the Liberty ride, even providing guidance for athletes who are raising funds in support of their participation.
Are you riding Face of America Liberty to West Point and have a remarkable personal story about your background you would like to share? Send us your story by email message and attach a high definition digital image. Selected stories will be added to our Featured Athlete page and may be expanded for a story on our World T.E.A.M. site. Thanks!