Michael Beattie, a 67-year-old Navy Veteran is biking across America to raise awareness and support for hungry Veterans. So far Mike has traveled over 11,770 miles, from Storrs, CT to Delta, PA to Baltimore, MD, to Rockville, MD; Washington, DC; Suffolk, VA; Bern, NC; Topsail, NC; Wilmington, NC; Monks Corner, SC; Stateboro, GA; Folkston, GA; Orange Beach, AL, Navisota, TX; Duncan, AZ; San Diego, CA; Santa Barbara, CA; San Simeon, CA; San Francisco, CA; through the California Redwoods, Arcata, CA; Bend, OR: Libby, MTl; Rugby, ND; Long Lake, NY; Portland, ME; and now Putnam, CT. You go Mike! We’ll keep everyone posted.
Michael served in the Navy from 1967 to 1971. He is from Storrs, Connecticut, and recently sold his home so he could use the proceeds to fund a 12,000 mile bicycle trip around the US to help raise money and awareness of the hungry Veteran problem we face in this country.
This past year, after his retirement from his locksmith and security business, Michael had the opportunity to travel around the US in a camper, and it was then that he was exposed to hungry America Veterans. He stopped at a McDonalds for a cup of coffee one day in New Mexico.
There was a man holding a sign that read, “I’m a homeless Veteran. I want a job but no one will hire me. I am also hungry.”
Michael ordered a couple burgers, went outside, talked to the man and gave him the food. The man was moved to tears, and hugged Michael. It was then that Michael knew he had to do something about Veteran hunger. He witnessed so many Veterans with signs begging for food and living on the street in every State he traveled through. That’s when he started thinking what crazy kind of thing could he do to get enough attention that maybe people would donate money to help. Lots of people ride across the country to raise money, but he never heard of anyone (especially at 67) that has ridden completely around the country.
Michael estimates that the trip will take 5 months of 80-100 miles a day of riding on a bicycle, if all goes well.
He says, “This will be a great challenge for me as I have had three spinal surgeries, including steel rods and screws holding my lower back together. I have had many major surgeries in the past eight years, and am kind of rebuilt: shoulders,arms, wrists back, neck and much more. But I am very committed to doing this and have been working on the details for over a year. One of the things I can still do physically is ride a bike, so let the games begin! As I am self funding my trip and 100% of the money I raise will go to buy food through the Feed Our Vets organization.”
Michael plans on starting out on his journey this Spring. We’ll keep you posted.