Local veterans draw crowds on their journey to D.C.

Local veterans draw crowds on their journey to D.C.

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — Three local veterans made their way to Edwards Air Force Base on Monday for Day 2 of their 100-day ride across the country.

For the past nine months, Jeremy Staat and Wesley Barrientos have been training for the ride of their lives. They are cycling from Bakersfield  to Washington, D.C. 

They aim to raise awareness about the suicide rate among veterans, childhood obesity and the need to improve the Veterans Health Care System.

"My mind is there, my heart is there. Nothing can stop me," said Barrientos. "I've documented about 3,200 miles since Nov. 1 to prepare for this ride."

"This has nothing to do with me, Dale or Wesley," said rider and organizer Staat. "We are just the muscle behind the pedals."

Vietnam veteran, 65-year-old Dale Porter, decided to join the men on the just-over-4,200-mile journey.

"I'm riding for the ones who didn't make it and the ones that are here. Every veteran that is in the world right now, I'm riding for all of them," said Porter.

Nine months of planning and training led up to Sunday's send-off from the Veteran's Memorial in downtown Bakersfield. It is obvious from the crowds that have gathered along the route that Kern County residents are behind the riders.

Click here to follow the journey.