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Rocky Mount

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Todays Headlines
Art by Barrett Edison,
Stocks Elementary
StormS toDay
High, 81; low, 63.
CarolINa CrImE SPortS
A state
says former
Gov. Mike
a letter
destroyed after reading.
The Rocky Mount Police
Department on Saturday
morning was investigating
the suspicious death
of a 4-month-old female
discovered inside of a
home on the 500 block of
Nelson Street.
The N.C.Wesleyan mens
tennis team will compete
this week in the NCAA
Division III Elite Eight.
See what coach Dominic
Modise had to say about
his teams chances for
more victories.
President outlines foreign
policy vision at West Point.
Covering The Twin Counties For 100 Years
Inductees will be
honored today
SPOrtS 1C Volume 100, no. 224 $1.25
7 5 00776 00125
Telegram photo / Alan Campbell
Army Spc. Michael Beck talks at home in Rocky Mount on May 7 about some of the drugs
he was given while hospitalized in Germany after being injured in Iraq.
Telegram photo / Ben Goff
A Nash County Sheriff s Deputy leads bikers to
begin the third Jack Laughery Ride for Knowledge.
Ride for Knowledge raises $15,000
By JOhn henDerSOn
Staff Writer
Two hundred bik-
ers rode a 52-mile trek
around Nash County on
Saturday in a charity
event that raised in ex-
cess of $15,000 for schol-
arships at Nash Com-
munity College.
The third annual
Jack Laughery Ride for
Knowledge, which at-
tracted about 300 visi-
tors, kicked off at the
Rocky Mount Harley-
Davidson dealership
at 928 N. Winstead Ave.
With the help of a Nash
County Sheriffs Offce
escort, the bikers left the
dealership and cruised
down Winstead Avenue
in a parade-style ride.
They then turned onto
Sunset Avenue and rode
past the community col-
lege, then out to the Red
Oak, Spring Hope and
Castalia areas, and then
back to the dealership.
The cost to ride was
$15 per rider and includ-
ed breakfast and lunch
catered by Doug Sauls
The event featured
a car show, entertain-
ment, raffes and live
music by Candy and the
Strangers out of Green-
The ride serves as a
for Beck,
a life without regret
By GeOffrey COOPer
Staff Writer
When Michael Beck
arrived at Walter Reed
Army Medical Center
in Washington, D.C., in
April 2008, there was a
silent and harsh under-
standing between him
and his doctors he was
supposed to be dead.
He and other comrades
in the Rocky Mount-
based 1132nd N.C. Na-
tional Guard Military
Police Company suf-
fered countless injuries
that same month, due
to a mortar explosion
in the sweltering desert
of Baghdad. With large
amounts of blood loss,
severed limbs and bodily
functions failing from
the explosion, Becks
chances of survival were
slim to none.
After hundreds of days
of surgeries and reha-
bilitation efforts geared
to save Becks life, the
end result was the loss
of both legs and the like-
lihood of using a wheel-
A lot has changed in
two years, including
Soldier turns
attention to
future plans
See BECK, 2A
to honor
in region
By JOhn henDerSOn
Staff Writer
Reservations are be-
ing taken for the annual
Small Business Banquet
sponsored by the Rocky
Mount Area Chamber
of Commerce at Benv-
enue Country Club on
June 15.
The event is part of a
series of activities put
on by the chamber this
spring designed to rec-
ognize entrepreneurial
The activities include
small business semi-
nars and tours, followed
by the Small Business
Banquet where the
chamber will honor
the best of the best
in small business suc-
cesses. Categories being
recognized are: Woman-
owned small business
of the year; minority-
owned small business of
the year; family-owned
(legacy) small business
of the year; small busi-
ness rookie of the year;
and the overall award
small business of the
year. Chamber mem-
bers recognized in these
categories in 2009 will
return to the banquet to
participate in the pre-
sentation of the 2010
The Small Business
See RIDE, 3A
Making a
rEaChINg out IN roCky mouNt
SUNdAY, MAY 23, 2010
Page Two
Becks spirit and outlook
on his future.
Beck, 22, does not
think much of that day.
Instead, he comfortably
sits on the plush sofa in-
side his home on the 100
block of Sebastian Way,
thousands of miles away
from the dreadful scen-
ery of war.
He and his mom,
Lynn Beck, are home
for the weekend and
they are preparing to
watch Paranormal Ac-
tivity with the family
his sister, Jennifer, 24;
niece, Kaley, 3; two dogs,
Bailey and Tucker; and
a cat, Mitty. Clothed in
his A-shirt and basket-
ball shorts, Beck gazes
into the bright televi-
sion screen, enjoying the
laughter inside the con-
fnes of his home, ver-
sus watching the pains
of other soldiers inside
Walter Reed.
Although the visit
only is temporary, be-
ing home is a reminder
good things are bound
to come.
I know (the explo-
sion) happened, but I
dont think about it, he
said. Ive been through
a lot since then, but Im
going to move on. I still
feel theres hope.
More than two years
have passed since Becks
fateful brush with death
in the battlefelds of Iraq.
With another chance at
life, Beck is continuing to
learn how to adapt to his
surroundings; prepare
for his future outside of
D.C., all while fghting to
use both of his legs.
The two-year transi-
tion has been frustrat-
ing, yet humbling, Beck
said. He said before his
injuries and amputa-
tions, it never crossed his
mind that he would be in
a wheelchair during the
prime of his life.
I thought I would ei-
ther come back alive or
dead. But not like this,
he said in a telephone
interview. I took hav-
ing legs and being able to
walk for granted.
Stares and quick judg-
ment of his abilities
often make it hard for
him to maintain a posi-
tive mindset, Beck said.
Even fnding a girlfriend
and meeting new people
are diffcult because they
identify only with his
lost limbs, not his per-
sonality, he said.
They look at my legs,
but they dont look at
me, he said. I still go
out. I dont care if any-
one looks at me. Im not
going to be ashamed.
Becks treatment and
recovery has placed him
and his mom inside of
the Mologne House a
200-room hotel located
on Walter Reeds campus
for wounded war veter-
ans since June 2008.
Each morning, Beck
and his mother rise ear-
ly to get a jump start to
their day. As Beck ven-
tures to formation and
physical training, Lynn
Beck fnds ways to ac-
commodate her sons
needs through cooking,
cleaning and preparing
for his next move.
The afternoon means
relaxation for the two;
time for refection and
preparation for the next
day. Lynn Beck said she
often fnds herself still in
a state of shock from all
of the pain her son has
had to endure and uses
the downtime sometimes
to vent and cry.
Since her son entered
the hospital, Lynn Beck
has been a mother, sec-
retary and caretaker. But
she said, she is grateful
Beck is able to do a lot
more on his own.
Its still much easier
for me to do these things,
Lynn Beck said in a tele-
phone interview. I make
it easier for him by doing
the small things; to keep
him from worrying.
Still, the simplest tasks
such as going to the bath-
room, getting inside a
car, bathing and picking
things off the ground can
be diffcult. The routine
is something Beck said
he dislikes, but knows it
will be a beneft when he
starts to walk on his own
The long-awaited trip
home starts with medi-
cal board evaluations,
which could last between
six months to a year.
Beck said he hopes that
by next year, the 235-mile
trip from D.C. to Rocky
Mount will be his fnal
Driving is another
step toward Becks inde-
pendence. Through the
use of Menox gear-shift-
ing mechanisms and spe-
cial gas and brake ped-
als, Beck will have the
chance to sport around
in his year-old jet black
Lincoln Mark LT, with-
out driver assistance.
Beck continues to re-
ceive hand-control train-
ing that will prepare
him to use the Menox
products, which will be
installed in his car next
Walking again will
provide Beck a new per-
spective on life and a
regaining of freedom he
thought he would never
experience again.
All of the grueling
hours of physical train-
ing, exercises and ther-
apy these two years are
bringing him
closer to lifting his legs
and doing everything on
his own again. So, when
he gets to put on both of
his prosthetic legs next
month, they will stay on.
Beck called the frst
time being ft for his
prosthetic a breath of
fresh air, adding that
it felt so great to leave
his wheelchair and ven-
ture by himself.
From sitting down in
a wheelchair, to stand-
ing up. ... Yeah, it sounds
and feels good just to say
that, Beck said.
The only worry his
mom has is whether his
always-bruised right leg
will be irritated by the
Upon the mortar ex-
plosion, Beck suffered a
collection of wounds and
detrimental damage to
vital organs and limbs,
primarily both of his
Doctors frst removed
the front half of Becks
left foot in May 2008, and
he later asked doctors to
remove what remained
of his left foot above the
ankle so he could enjoy a
more comfortable pros-
In July 2009, doctors
amputated his right leg
that was heavily dam-
aged and had to be held
together with drilled
pins. Army surgeons
frst tried multiple graft
operations, using ca-
daver bones to rebuild
Becks right leg.
Coming home for
good is a chance to con-
tinue living life as it was
meant to be, which is
carefree, Beck said. He
has a laundry list of hob-
bies to catch up on such
as fshing, traveling and
riding his four-wheeler
along Busco Beach and
the trails near his home.
Having the wind
hit your face is so cool.
I dont have to worry
about much, Beck said.
Theyre stress reliev-
ers. ... I am one of those
people that likes to get
up and do things. All of
these things help take my
mind off everything.
Beck also faces the
daunting task of fnd-
ing employment when
he returns home, some-
thing he said he has not
thought much about. He
said, he will have a better
feel for what he wants to
do career-wise once he
starts his internship
program through Walter
Reed Army Medical Cen-
But Beck did say he
is thinking about go-
ing into a feld where he
could help preserve do-
mesticated animals.
Chances of remaining
in the military and law
enforcement are slim,
he said, adding that a
change of pace is need-
ed after six years in the
I love being in the
military and I love being
From Page 1A
Telegram photo / Alan Campbell
Army Spc. Michael Beck receives a hug from his niece Kaley Baker, 4, while talking with his sister Jennifer
Beck at home in Rocky Mount on May 7.
See BECK, 3A
High 83. Low 61.
Isolated storms.
GA. S.C.
June 4
Rocky Mount
Wilmington 79
June 19 May 27
City Hi/Lo Weather
Asheville 85/65 tstrms
Atlanta 85/63 pcldy
Boone 74/54 tstrms
Charlottesville 75/64 tstrms
Chicago 70/61 pcldy
Columbia 78/64 tstrms
Greensboro 77/61 pcldy
Jacksonville, FL 90/73 sunny
Miami 85/74 pcldy
Morehead City 77/68 tstrms
Nashville 83/65 tstrms
New York 74/58 pcldy
Norfolk 77/64 tstrms
Pinetops 83/65 tstrms
Red Oak 83/65 tstrms
Richmond 76/63 tstrms
Rocky Mount 81/63 tstrms
Saratoga 83/65 tstrms
Sharpsburg 83/65 tstrms
Sims 83/65 tstrms
Speed 81/65 tstrms
Spring Hope 83/65 tstrms
Tarboro 81/65 tstrms
Wilmington 79/67 tstrms
Wilson 83/65 tstrms
81 63
75 61
76 62
Sunrise 6 a.m.
Sunset 8:15 p.m.
Moonrise 2:54 p.m.
Moonset 2:21 a.m.
Regional Forecasts
High 73. Low 63.
Isolated storms.
June 12
Extended Forecast
National Weather for Sunday, May 23
Local Weather Summary
Sun and Moon
Fronts Pressure
Cold Warm Stationary Low High
s 0 0 1 s 0 1 - -0s 0s 10s 20s 30s 40s 50s 60s 70s 80s 90s 110s
Thunderstorms. Cloudy. Thunderstorms.
High 87. Low 60.
Isolated storms.
High 84. Low 62.
Partly cloudy.
Patchy fog in the morning. A chance of showers in the morn-
ing, then numerous showers with isolated thunderstorms in the
afternoon. Highs around 80. Light and variable winds.
Saturday Midday
Pick 3: 9-2-3
Friday Evening
Pick 3: 4-3-6
Pick 4: 9-5-4-2
Cash 5: 5-16-26-34-35

Mega Millions
Friday Drawing:
Mega Ball: 17
Megaplier: 3
Jackpot: $64M


181-460) is published daily, Sunday through Saturday mornings,
by the Rocky Mount Telegram, 1000 Hunter Hill Road, Rocky
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REacH uS
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(1000 Hunter Hill Road)
Rocky Mount, NC 27802
canWE HElp?
n.c. lOTTERy
High 84. Low 65.
A Rocky Mount Telegram n Sunday, May 23, 2010
a soldier. ... Its just time,
thats all, Beck said.
The reality that civil-
ian life is within reach is
something Beck said he
admits has not sunk in.
Legs or no legs, he said,
using his disabilities as
an excuse is not his in-
The war in Iraq has
raged for almost nine
years. Many of Becks
close comrades are
gone, but their service
and spilled blood are
not in vain, he said.
Beck said he does not
need a television sta-
tion or a newspaper to
tell him about the body
counts because the casu-
alties of war are around
him everyday. It is the
high death rates over-
seas that prompts Beck
to question whether it
is time for the United
States to extract itself
from the wars.
We should stop this
fghting, Beck said.
Were not really fght-
ers. Were supposed to
be peacekeepers.
At 17, the eager Beck
signed up to join the
N.C. National Guard
while he still was a ju-
nior at Northern Nash
High School. Years after
the country was struck
head-on by terrorist at-
tacks on Sept. 11, 2001,
Beck wanted to do the
right thing defend his
Lynn Beck said she
had reservations about
her son going into the
military, fearing that he
would be deployed over-
When (the United
States) was attacked,
and Bush wanted the
country to go to war, I
was adamant about the
whole thing. But being
over there opened my
eyes, Beck said.
But the fghting will
not bring back the thou-
sands of lives lost.
The U.S. Department
of Defense and the As-
sociated Press reported
that more than 4,400
U.S. troops have died
in Iraq since Operation
Iraqi Freedom began in
March 2003. More than
1,000 U.S. troops have
died in Afghanistan
since the start of Opera-
tion Enduring Freedom
in October 2001.
President Barack
Obama previously said
that combat missions in
Iraq will end by August,
but that he will leave be-
tween 35,000 and 50,000
troops in the country to
counsel Iraqi security.
His overall goals are to
remove all U.S. troops
from Iraq by December
2011 and from Afghani-
stan by 2013.
Lynn Beck said her
son has dealt with his
recovery in a mature
manner and is more
independent now. The
bond Lynn Beck and her
son have shared during
the past two years has
brought them closer.
He has handled all
of this surprisingly
well, Lynn Beck said.
A lot of vets take their
anger out on the people
that are taking care of
them. Im glad that Mi-
chael doesnt do that to
me. ... He gets frustrated
sometimes, but he wont
fat out cuss at me.
Despite his horrifc
outcome, Beck has no
regrets about enlisting
in the Army. He won-
ders only if Obama will
hold frm to his prom-
Everyone over (in
Iraq and Afghanistan)
are not bad people.
Many of them are law-
abiding citizens. ...
(Withdrawing troops)
is something that our
last president should al-
ready have done.
Beck said hes grate-
ful that he was one of
the troops that made it
out alive. Much fght re-
mains in his body, and
Beck said hell use ev-
ery ounce to tell another
man who looks just like
him, Youre not dead.
Everything in your
life is just a speed
bump, he said. I may
not have much, but
theres always some-
body worse off than
From Page 2A
Telegram photo / Alan Campbell
Army Spc. Michael Beck talks about being injured in Iraq while at home in Rocky
Mount on May 7.
Banquet will feature Rocky
Mount native James Word-
sworth. He was selected to
serve as vice chairman for the
U.S. Chamber of Commerces
Southeastern Region, which
includes Alabama, Florida,
Georgia, North and South
Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia
and Mississippi. Wordsworth
also is chairman of the Cham-
bers Small Business Council,
and its Labor Relations Com-
Wordsworth is the owner
of a number of businesses in
the hospitality and food ser-
vices industry. He owns J.R.s
Stockyards Inn restaurant in
McLean, Va., and J.R.s Cus-
tom Catering Inc. His busi-
nesses are one of the largest
private employers of young
adults in the Northern Vir-
ginia area.
He is currently director
emeritus of the National
Restaurant Association and
serves on the board of direc-
tors of a number of hospital-
ity, travel and tourism orga-
nizations. He was a national
fnalist for the National Res-
taurant Association/Ameri-
can Express/Americas Prom-
ise Humanitarian Award for
2004 and 2005, and was also
named one of Americas Top
Tables by Gourmet maga-
Tickets for the 2010 annual
Small Business Awards Ban-
quet are $30 per person, with
reserved tables available, and
can be purchased by calling
252-973-1211 or by visiting The
Chambers website at www.
The chamber, and its pre-
mier sponsors, MBM Corpo-
ration and RBC Bank, begin
the month-long activities
with distribution of a nomi-
nation form that each mem-
ber will receive in the mail in
the coming days, asking for
participation in identifying
some of these successes.
Businesses can nominate a
business success they know
of or their own business
for one or more of the cat-
egories featured.
From Page 1A
tribute to Jack Laugh-
ery, the former CEO and
chairman of the Hard-
ees restaurant chain,
along with his wife, Hel-
en, and their love of mo-
torcycling and support
of higher education. The
proceeds from the mo-
torcycle ride beneft the
Helen and Jack Laugh-
ery Honorary Scholar-
ship Fund at Nash Com-
munity College that was
established in 2004.
The scholarships tar-
get students who need
retraining for various
reasons, said Pat Dan-
iels, the Nash Commu-
nity College Foundation
executive director.
She said the scholar-
ship benefted nontra-
ditional students who
are coming back and
seeking new careers or
needed retraining. She
said these students often
dont qualify for typical
fnancial aid.
They are the type of
student Jack wanted to
help, Daniels said.
Daniels said last
years event, which
raised $9,000, created
fve scholarships. A mo-
torcycle donated by one
of Laugherys friends
was raffed off on Fri-
day night, helping boost
the total proceeds from
this years event to more
than $15,000.
Harleys Heroes Dis-
abled American Vet-
erans Mobile Service
Offce was busy on Sat-
urday, providing one-on-
one consulting to veter-
ans and their families.
The Nash Community
College EMS, machining
and welding programs
were showcased in a
mobile classroom and
custom-built chopper.
Jimmy Lyles, the
general manager of
the Harley dealership,
said Laughery would be
proud at how the event
has continued to attract
more participants each
Its growing every
year, raising more mon-
ey every year, he said.
Gary Brown, who
helped organize the
event, said it is clear
that it has taken off.
I think everybody
was a little apprehensive
in the frst year about
how well this would do,
but the community has
really embraced it,
he said. Ive got peo-
ple coming from Kitty
Hawk, from Raleigh,
from Richmond. This is
defnitely growing.
From Page 1A
Telegram photos / Ben Goff
At left, Nash Community College Dean of Transfer
Programs Mike Latham flms Helen Laughery sitting
on a custom chopper built by Nash Community
College students. Above, NCC paramedic students
demonstrate how to take an Electrocardiogram.
Tickets for the 2010 annual Small Business
Awards Banquet are $30 per person, with
reserved tables available. Businesses can
nominate any business including their own
for one or more of the categories featured.
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Rocky Mount Telegram n Sunday, May 23, 2010 A