Va. Veteran Bikes Cross-Country Raising Money for Wounded Warriors
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -
A Marine veteran from Virginia is on a cross-country journey to raise money for America's wounded warriors.
Rob Jones started his 5,400 mile biking trip in Bar Harbor, Maine on October 14. He has spent most of the last 42 days pedaling down the east coast, set on saying "thank you" to those that helped him push through the pain in a powerful way.
"I actually left from Charlottesville to drive up to Maine, so I'm kind of just getting back to where I started," Jones said.
The 28-year-old double amputee put on his helmet, gloves, and prosthetic legs Sunday for the next stretch of the trip through central Virginia on his way to California.
"I was in Afghanistan in 2010 and we were just clearing a route and I got hit by an IED," said Jones.
Now the veteran is determined to give back to the organizations that helped him regain his strength.
"I'm trying to raise a million dollars for veterans' charities: Semper Fi fund, Ride to Recovery, and the Coalition to Salute America's Heroes."
Jones has biked more than 1,100 miles and raised about $40,000 so far, with support from a few friendly faces along the way.
"Whenever I go through a town, or I have friends like today, they'll ride with me for a portion, and I've had previous strangers ride with me and now we're friends."
Jones bikes on average about 30 miles a day. He says he usually takes every 10th day off. His younger brother, Steve, follows behind him in their large truck.
He hopes his journey will help secure the future for more soldiers recovering from battle scars. "These charities have done a lot for me during my recovery and I want to repay the favor."
Jones is preparing to head out west, aiming to get to his final destination in San Diego by April. If you are interested in tracking his journey or donating, click here. You can also follow Jones on Facebook for updates on his trip.
Sign Up for Email Alerts
Sign up to receive news, weather, and breaking news emails from the NBC29 newsroom in your inbox daily.