Cyclists roll in to Amarillo to promote Veteran awareness
Mon, 26 Mar 2012 15:05:00 GMT —
Two Iraqi veterans rode their bikes into Amarillo Sunday as part of the Wall to Wall Bicycle Ride.
They started their trip in Bakersfield, Calif., and after 100 days on the ride they will stop in Washington, D.C.
Both men are riding across the country to promote veteran awareness.
Their goal is to help make the veteran affairs system more efficient and to raise awareness about veteran suicides.
"The veteran suicide rate right now is through the roof," said Wesley Barrientos, one of the bikers. "We're seeing an average of 18 veterans a day to suicide, that's more than we're loosing in combat."
Staat agrees that it is even more dangerous than combat for veterans.
"We're losing more veterans here than in Afghanistan or Iraq," Jeremy Staat said.
They also want to help put living history into schools and have veteran education on college campuses across the country.
Wesley Barrientos spent three tours in Iraq. He lost both of his legs to a rode side bomb.
"When I woke up in a hospital bed in Germany it wasn't, oh my gosh, I lost my legs," said Barrientos. "It was, wow I get another opportunity at life. Something my brothers never got."
Jeremy Staat is a former NFL football player.
"After 9/11, I just said, you know what, playing a football game,at the end of the day no one really cares," said Saat.
If you are interested in following these two veterans on the ride across the country you can log on to www.thejeremystaatfoundation.com