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From Coast to Coast: Family Cycles Across Country to Help Warriors

Don Coffey is no stranger to riding his bike long distances. In 2019, he cycled across the southern states, followed by his wife Susan and two black labs in an RV. It was a dream come true.

Three years later, however, the Coffeys decided to make it a family affair and cycle together for much more than sightseeing and a family vacation.

Cycling for a Cause

After trekking across the southern states, Don knew he needed to map out a new route that was challenging, yet doable for him, his daughter Liz, his wife, and two dogs. He also knew he wanted to raise money for a charity after not doing so the first time.

“Three years ago, I rode from St. Augustine (Florida) to San Diego, and I got about halfway through before I did one of these (facepalms), and thought, ‘I should have raised money for charity somehow,’” shared Don. “As we started planning this trip, choosing a charity was easy because of our son Tom.”

Tom Coffey served five years as an Army Ranger. Although never severely injured, he lost many friends in combat, and when this opportunity arose, the Coffeys unanimously chose Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) as their charity of choice. However, their family ties to the military run deeper than Tom’s service. Both of Don’s parents served in World War II, Liz’s husband serves in the Venezuelan Marines, and their nephew currently serves in the Air Force.

"We thought this was a really deserving organization that helps out veterans who really deserve our respect and help," said Liz.

Community Impact

Flying in from Spain, Liz joined her dad for one of the most fulfilling rides of their lives as they set course for Provincetown, Massachusetts – the starting point of their cross-country journey. They estimated it would take them about 90 days, around 3,800 miles, and set a community fundraising goal of $5,000.

They not only met their goal, but they almost doubled it – an incredible showing of people coming together for a greater cause.

“People have been fascinated with the effort and process and exceptionally supportive of Wounded Warrior Project,” Don said. “Most people were intrigued with the ride and would ask, ‘what are your days like?’ and ‘how do you plan for something like this?’ It was much more than just a veterans bike ride for us. As a result of that, we were able to raise more than $8,000 for Wounded Warrior Project.”

A Trip of a Lifetime

Averaging about 30-50 miles daily, the Coffeys crossed over 13 states in 74 days. From the tip of Cape Cod to the Pacific Coast in Washington State, they experienced some of America’s most treasured, breathtaking lands. Some of those highlights includes touching all the Great Lakes, crossing the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers, and going to Glacier National Park.

“This was the best summer of my life,” Don said. “I got to spend three months with my wife and daughter, having the adventure of a lifetime while raising money for a truly worthy cause.”

With your help, WWP makes sure no warrior or caregiver ever feels alone. WWP values every donation, big or small, because each contribution helps WWP make a life-changing difference in a warrior’s life. WWP is grateful for the generosity of individual donors as well as corporate partners. Click here to learn how you can help by honoring veterans today.

Contact: — Krissty Andaur - Public Relations, kandaur@woundedwarriorproject.org, 904.760.6957

About Wounded Warrior Project

Since 2003, Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) has been meeting the growing needs of warriors, their families, and caregivers — helping them achieve their highest ambition. Learn more.

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