Guest Blog provided by the Granite State Appaloosa Association
In the summer of 2006 , at the age of 18 , Nicholas G Xiarhos raised his hand to enlist into the United States Marine Corps. Nick had an enduring passion to Serve Our Country , and to protect Family, Faith and Flag ! Though Nick cheated death once, Sadly, On July 23rd, 2009, Corporal Xiarhos heard a fellow Marine calling for help on the radio. Their vehicle was stuck in Enemy Territory. Nick and those he was commanding drove over a large roadside bomb while on their way to save them. US Marine Corporal Nicholas Xiarhos was killed doing what he did best…… Helping others ! He was only 21 !
The Big Nick Riders are a group of Motorcycle riders that now put on the biggest motorcycle ride on Cape Cod, Massachusetts every year in honor of Big Nick and the 15 other Cape Cod Fallen Soldiers who have died in action since the start of the Iraq War . Laurie Jean Ellis , is not only an Appaloosa owner, exhibitor ,and on the Board of Directors for the Western Massachusetts Appaloosa Association, but she , her husband and her son are members of the Big Nick Riders. The Big Nick Ride for The Cape Cod Fallen brings over 1300 bikes from all over the United States to show Honor and Respect for our Fallen Hero! All monies raised goes to Veterans , Veterans Programs, Charities and special students.
McKenzie Quinn was the 2021 recipient of this award. McKenzie is 16 years old. She is top in her Sophmore class. She loves dance , baseball and crotcheting , but her passion is horses ! McKenzie volunteers her time at Harmony Hill Farm in Randolph, MA. In return for working , she rides the owner , Pamela Dow’s horses, Hand Me The Moon and Nite Stories . McKenzie is sweet , hard working, funny and very dedicated in bettering herself and trying to learn . She is a very hard worker , very positive and always steps up to help others. She is very loved by her Barn Family and those who know her .
Two weeks before Nick was killed he made a call to his parents. The very last words he ever spoke to them was, ” Don’t worry about me, Mom… I’m Living The Dream !” Mckenzie, because you exhibit the same qualities as our Hero, Nick , your willingness to go above and beyond to help others, your positive and up beat attitude, you are a roll model to younger kids, your very strong work ethics, your good sportsmanship, you excel in school , Laurie and the Big Nick Riders have chosen you as this year’s Youth to be awarded the Nicholas G Xiarhos ” Living The Dream ” Youth Award !
We pray you continue on the path that you are on and keep your love for Family, Faith, Flag, and Country ! May you keep ” Living The dream !!!” Congratulations ! Thank you Laurie Jean Ellis for your support. Pamela Dow