Memorial ride pays tribute to late biker

Photo courtesy 820th Base Defense Group, Moody Air Force BaseA bike ride Saturday honors Tech Sgt. Lee D. Fulp, who died in a 2015 motorcycle accident in Lowndes County.

VALDOSTA – It’s been five years since TSgt. Lee “Blaster” Fulp passed away, leaving behind only memories of him for his loved ones. 

“He always had a grin on his face, a smile,” Sheila Fulp, his mother, said of her son.

“I couldn’t say enough good things about him," she said. "He was just an awesome person. If somebody needed support, he was there.”

Lee Fulp – a 38-year-old Hahira native and Adel resident – was a technical sergeant at Moody Air Force Base who was serving in the 820th Defense Group and the 820th Combat Operations Squadron at the time of his death.

He favored Harley Davidson motorcycles and was a member of the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association.

He was riding his bike on Val Del Road when he was struck by a car, said Jimi Stewart, his friend. Lee Fulp died at the hospital July 11, 2015.

“The line of sight wasn’t very good because of a tree and the way the road came over a small rise,” Stewart said. “An older gentleman pulled out in front of him and he laid his bike down and slid into the car. The impact caused internal swelling and he died of edema.”

Lee Fulp received the nickname “Blaster” due to his role with explosives in the Air Force, Stewart said. The late airman served four tours in Afghanistan and Iraq, according to his obituary.

Like Sheila Fulp, Stewart recalled his friend’s smile – a fixture of Lee Fulp’s personality.

“Everybody liked Lee,” Stewart said. “The first thing that you saw in the room was his smile. Lee had the biggest smile that I’ve ever seen. … I can’t say that anybody enjoyed life more than he did.”

To keep his late friend’s name alive, Stewart coordinates the Fifth Annual Lee “Blaster” Fulp Memorial Ride at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 8, at Cuz’s Sports Bar and Grill, 4333 Bemiss Road, Suite 7. Kickstands up at 11:30 a.m.  

The theme of the ride is "Honor through Remembrance."

Bikers will ride in his name to The Pub, formerly the Lamplighter Pub, at 1803 U.S. Highway 41 North in Tifton. Stewart said Lee Fulp liked to eat there.

The motorcade will venture to Hahira to visit Lee Fulp’s gravesite at Fellowship Baptist Church before heading to Walker’s Crossing on Bemiss Road to stop at a bar where his biker’s Cut is retired in a frame.

Stewart said Walker’s Crossing was Lee Fulp’s favorite place.

“It’s not a ride for charity. We’re not raising any money. It’s really a ride of remembrance for us all to get together and remember our times with him and talk about him,” Stewart said.

“The fact that so many people still come together every year and get together and talk about their time with him and the moments they shared with him shows the strength of his character because so many people show up every year just because he made such an impact on their lives.”

He recalled Lee Fulp’s positive attitude and his ability to live his life out loud.

“He did everything with gusto and with a smile on his face,” Stewart said.

Sheila Fulp called the memorial ride a testimony to her son’s friendships and his willingness to help others.

“It just means so much to me that they take time out of their day to think about him,” she said. “ … It’s like they haven’t forgotten him.”

Admission for the memorial ride is free. No registration is required.

Visit the Lee “Blaster” Fulp Memorial Ride event page on Facebook for more information.

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