Marine biking around country for veterans and families - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Marine biking around country for veterans and families

A retired Marine is riding his bicycle across the country and doing it to help bring awareness to the challenges combat wounded veterans and their families face.

"I saw a Marine, digging through a garbage can for food and I didn't know he was a marine at the time until I threw something in the garbage can and he looked up and saw my hat, and he said 'Semper Fi,'" said Scot King.

That moment in 2009 is what King says inspired him to ride his bicycle across the country to bring awareness to combat wounded veterans and their families.

"When a soldier, a Marine Corps. man, [an] airman or somebody is wounded in combat ... the entire family is suffering.  It's not just the veteran himself," said King.

The Elks Lodge Columbus was the stop on Wednesday for King in this year's "Remember the Wounded Ride." In 2011, he rode about 6,000 miles across the country.  Now, the 48-year-old has a  goal of 8,000 miles, and he hopes to raise about $250,000 to help retired service members and their families.

"When soldiers deploy and come back,[after] getting injured, they are feeling that they can't perform at that maximum level that they used to, and not knowing that they can be used in other ways, and not giving up on themselves," said First Sergeant Marcus Jefferson with the Wounded Warriors Transition Battalion on Fort Benning.

Jefferson met with King, and the soldier is grateful King is working to bring awareness to the challenges, like unemployment and financial issues, facing veterans.

"What he is doing to put this together, to get our voice out there and what we go through, it is absolutely phenomenal.  I take my hat off to him," said Jefferson.

King's next stop is in Richland and is hoping to make his way back to the capital of his home state, Oregon, by the end of September for the final stop in his journey.

If you would like to make a donation to the Remember the Wounded Ride, click on the following link to the organization's website: http://www.rtwr.org/

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