INTERVIEW: Injured veterans travel cross-country

By Ryan Nobles - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – A group of veterans from the U.S. military are in the midst of an important journey. They are traveling across the country to raise awareness for a number of important charities. They started in San Francisco and will end in Virginia Beach. The group will travel through Richmond next week. In fact, they will be here next Thursday. Kevin Sullivan is a member of the team. He is an U.S. Air Force veteran. He served in Iraq and he suffers from post traumatic stress disorder. He joins us via Skype from Pittsburgh, on a break from the tour. Kevin, thank you for being here.

Kevin Sullivan: Thanks for having me.

Ryan Nobles: First, let's talk about this ride. You started in San Francisco; you're going a little more than 3,000 miles. Just how physically demanding is the challenge?

Kevin Sullivan: It's been unbelievable. We started going through California, over the Sierra Nevada, across the Rocky Mountains and then into the Midwest. It's been a heck of a journey, and a lot of hard work.

Ryan Nobles: And you're obviously going through a lot of different communities, you're meeting with school groups, you're talking to leaders in all these towns. What message are you trying to send out?

Kevin Sullivan: We trying to tell people that despite any disabilities that you may have, not just a little task but something as monumental as riding your bike across the entire country, is absolutely possible. We go out to these little towns, we're greeting the families, the friends and loved ones of soldiers who are currently over there, people with disabilities, and we're proving to them, we're showing to them that this type of event is possible.

Ryan Nobles: I think it's also interesting because you're keeping in touch with people on your blog over internet. Actual actually post pictures while you're on your bike. What's that experience been like to have interaction with people while you're physically on your bike riding?

Kevin Sullivan: It's been fantastic. I mean the technologies unbelievable. We get on the road and we'll cross a state line and I will snap a photo, and instantly upload it to my blog and it keeps my wife at home updated and friends and my family. It's been and you believable tool.

Ryan Nobles: So close to the finish line, you're going to be in Richmond here in a week. What's it going to be like when you roll into Virginia Beach?

Kevin Sullivan: I'm picturing it to be like every other town we've gone through. The best part of this trip has been entering the different towns across the country. I mean, these townsfolk, these patriotic Americans have been coming out with American flags, giving us hugs and handshakes and clapping and cheering us on, and really at the end of an 80, sometimes 120-mile day, seeing those people there is the motivating factor to keep on moving, and I think Richmond is going to be just as good, especially with coverage like this and you helping us get the word out.

Ryan Nobles: Thank you so much. We'll look for you next week. We appreciate you for being on First at Four.

Kevin Sullivan: All right, hey, thank you very much.

See the video at right for the full interview.

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