Sara Story, Denton County Reporter
Two Iraqi war veterans are riding across the United States to raise awareness for veterans, on Friday they stopped in Denton.
Two Iraq War veterans bicycling across the United States to raise awareness for veterans stopped in Denton on Friday.
Jeremy Staat received a warm welcome when he rolled into Denton, one stop on his 4,500-mile journey. The Iraq veteran and former NFL football player said he hopes the trip shines light on issues such as veteran suicide and childhood obesity.
"We are just trying to bring enough awareness to change some lives and possibly save a life," he said.
Wesley Barrientos is making the trip with Staat. He normally cycles by Staat's side but is recovering from an injury.
They have the same mission, but look much different on the road. Barrientos rides with his arms.
"I lost my legs in Iraq on Dec. 20, 2010, in a roadside bomb," Barrientos said. "I never saw myself riding across the country on a bicycle. When I lost my legs, I just wanted to recover, be an example."
Staat and Barrientos inspire the people they meet.
"It's been amazing," Staat said. "When you pull into a veteran's home, and you have a veteran in there that says just us visiting him is the best thing that's happened to him in seven years, that's what keeps us motivated and keeps us going."