Vets riding across America to raise awareness of civilian transition

Published On: Jul 25 2012 03:12:28 PM PDT
vets bike across America
SPOKANE, Wash. -

Veterans participating on a cross-country journey to Washington D.C. made a pit stop in the Inland Northwest Wednesday morning.

Five vets from all over the country are riding more than 4,200 miles for the Long Road Home Project. All of the vets come from different backgrounds.

"I was homeless for two years," Glenn Fretz, a U.S. Army veteran, said.

"I have post traumatic stress disorder so I suffer from depression and anxiety," retired U.S. Air Force Staff Sergeant Colleen Bushnell said.

Each vet is riding with a purpose. Bushnell hopes the trip brings more awareness about military sexual trauma, something she endured while serving this country.

"I decided that a trip like this would be the best thing for me to endeavor in order to turn the ship around," Bushnell said.

The journey spans 12 states. It started in Ocean Shores, Washington and ends in Washington D.C. With each mile, they hope to raise money and awareness for service men and women transitioning back to civilian life.

"It's very real and it's very dynamic and it's work but it's very meaningful at the same time," Bushnell said.

While Bushnell rides her bike on the summer trek, Fretz is hand cycling his way through the U.S. He knows first hand about the hardships vets face after service. An accident left him paralyzed in 1994.

"The biggest thing is that you want to feel alive again you go from a hospital bed to learning how to sit up and then you get in a hand cycle like that one and then you feel so alive again," Fretz said.

The pit stop in Spokane was short, but their courage and strength is something that can't be determined in the miles they log on their bikes.

To find out more about the trek, log onto www.longroadhomeproject.com.