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News Link • Events: America

War Veterans Undertake 4,163-mile Bike Ride to Raise Awareness

• Written by Theresa Leschmann
 Iraq war veterans Jeremy Staat and Wesley Barrientos are compelled to draw attention to the rising number of suicides among U. S. veterans and those who served during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. To draw attention to the problem, the pair is planning a cross-country bike ride

The number of suicides among military personnel and veterans averages about one every 80 minutes according to estimates from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. That means 6,500 hundred die by their own hand annually, a number that surpasses the combined death toll of U. S. military personnel from both the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.

Staat wanted to do something but struggled to find the right means to draw attention to the problem. Barrientos, a double amputee whose legs were lost in a roadside bomb incident in 2007 in Iraq and Staat came up with the idea to ride bikes across country. They will be joined by Dale Porter.

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