Former deputy Kurt Wyman remembered
On June 7, 2011, Oneida County Sheriff's Deputy Kurt Wyman was killed in the line of duty during a standoff. Since that day, he's been honored through memorials, events, and awards, but as our Cara Thomas reports, his friends and loved ones aren't done yet.
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ROME, N.Y. -- Kurt Wyman is remembered as a lot of things. A Marine, a Sheriff's deputy for Oneida County, a friend, a husband and a father.
"Kurt was a lot of fun, he was very easy going and sarcastic and just a very genuine guy," says Lauren Wyman, Kurt Wyman's wife.
"I was very fond of the kid, a very nice guy, and when he passed I wanted to do something for him," says Robert Russell, a colleague and the organizer of the event.
So Wyman's colleagues planned a motorcycle ride. A perfect tribute that his wife Lauren says he would have loved. She says he would have been giddy seeing all the different bikes in one place, and the ride itself would have been a joy. She says one memory from last year's ride will stick with her forever, and she couldn't wait to see it again.
Lauren Wyman says, "When I turned around, we were at a hilly part approaching Boonville and when I looked back you could just see the hills were full of motorcycles and police escorts and it was just, it was beautiful."
Last year there were more than 600 motorcyclists participating and the money raised went to an education fund for Wyman's two young children. But this year's ride was a little smaller. About 175 riders came to participate, and this year the money is going to a good cause.
"Since Kurt was a Marine, I thought it was fitting that the first group that benefit from this be a group of Marines," said Russell.
The money raised will go to Rome's Marine Corps. Veterans Center, which family members say is a cause that would be very close to Wyman's heart.
"I think that it would really touch him. It would mean a lot to him because he knew a lot of his brothers who suffered from PTSD and didn't get help because they either couldn't afford it or didn't know there was that kind of support out there," says Lauren Wyman.
Wyman's family says he would have been proud to donate to a cause like this. They say these kinds of donations are what keeps his legacy alive forever.