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Injured soldier will be at benefit held in his honor
0601andrew sullens
Andy "Sully" Sullens


Jill Sullens, wife of Army Spc. Andy "Sully" Sullens, a Dahlonega native wounded in Afghanistan, talks about how her husband is doing.

Sully Run

A fundraiser is planned for Army Spc. Andy "Sully" Sullens and his wife to cover cost of living expenses.

What: An event featuring a motorcycle run, family activities, food and entertainment

When: Saturday, with riders registering at 9 a.m.

Where: Lumpkin County High School, Dahlonega


Army Spc. Andy "Sully" Sullens, a Dahlonega native wounded in a May 17 blast in Afghanistan, plans on returning home Saturday for a benefit in his honor.

Friends have organized the "Sully Run," a motorcycle run starting and ending at Lumpkin County High School, with other activities, including a country music concert, as part of the all-day event.

"I think we’re going to wait until 12:30 or 1 (p.m.), after all the motorcyclists get back," said Sullens’ wife, Jill. "If he wants to go earlier, we can. It depends on how he feels Saturday morning."

Sullens is at Fort Gordon in Augusta, receiving treatments at Eisenhower Army Medical Center’s active-duty rehabilitation unit.

A 2001 graduate of Lumpkin County High School, he had been in Afghanistan about a month as a member of Charlie Troop, a reconnaissance and surveillance outfit attached to the 108th Cavalry Regiment and based out of Dalton.

He was one of four Georgia Army National Guard members wounded when their Humvee ran over an explosive device while on patrol near Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan.

The blast threw Sullens about 25 feet from the vehicle, knocking him unconscious. He suffered a broken hip and leg, along with severe burns.

"He’s doing really well right now," said his wife. "He goes to the orthopedic doctors again on Aug. 10 and, hopefully, that’s when they’ll clear him for weight-bearing status.

"So, it may be two or three more weeks before he can stand up, start putting weight on his hips and everything."

She said she expects her husband will remain at Eisenhower, possibly until a medical discharge.

"They don’t usually start those until six months after the injury, so maybe November is when they’ll start that process," Jill Sullens said. "And then we’ve been told it could take anywhere from three to six months (for paperwork to be completed)."

He was able to return to Lumpkin County this past weekend for the first time.

"It was fun," said his wife. "We had a lot of people at the house all weekend."

Ashley Coker of Dahlonega has been a key organizer of Saturday’s event.

"We’re just trying to get everything finished, as far as what we need, and we’re still getting people preregistered to ride," she said. "I’m hoping it’s not going to rain."

Registration for the event is set to begin at 9 a.m., with bikers set to journey off at 10:30.

"They’re going to go up toward Suches, through Blairsville, and then back down through White and Lumpkin counties and back to the school," Coker said.

Registration on the day of the event costs $25 and must be paid in cash only.

Riders and nonriders can enjoy festivities throughout the day, including family activities, games and events. The event also will feature food and entertainment, including music by Dahlonega native and country musician Kurt Thomas.

Jill Sullens said all the attention "is absolutely overwhelming."

"It’s amazing that (Andrew) has as many close friends and good people around him that want to do something like this for him," she said.