Their task is to cycle across America; their mission is to help families of fallen soldiers.
U.S. Army Veteran Kevin Mincio and entrepreneur and philanthropist Matt Sauri are riding their bicycles across the U.S. Their journey will commemorate the upcoming ten year anniversary of 9-11, but their mission is to provide education and help for families of fallen soldiers.
"We are not only helping families by providing aid in the form of financial support, but also helping the families by making sure they know that we don't forget who they lost,” said Mincio.
On Sunday the duo arrived in Pueblo, which marks the completion of the first leg of their journey or what they call Act I. By now, they’ve traveled 1,615 miles and climbed up 86,100 feet across four states: California, Nevada, Utah, and Colorado.
Mincio and Sauri’s bike ride began 25 days ago. But their mission started in 2007, when Kevin lost his friend and fellow soldier SSG Jesse Williams who died while serving overseas in Iraq.
“I loved him to death. He laughed through the toughest times. He was an incredible soldier and he fought bravely right until he gave his life,” said Mincio.
In honor of his memory, the bike trek began at SSG William’s gravesite in Santa Rosa California, on what would have been his 30th birthday.
Both SSG Williams and Kevin Mincio served in the 5-20 Infantry Regiment, which has the motto of “Tant Que Je Puis” which means “To the Limit of Our Abilities.” Kevin and Matt decided that was an appropriate theme for their ride in remembrance of those who gave it all for their country.
Before SSG William’s went to Iraq, Mincio promised to provide for his daughter.
“We helped her and her future with her education, her trust fund, and after we got that all set up we felt that there were other families out there that didn’t have those resources available to them and we wanted to set out to help as many of those families as we could,” said Mincio.
Now with the Team Jesse Foundation, Mincio is doing the same thing for other families.
During the bike ride the duo is raising awareness and funds for families of the fallen. 100 percent of the donations they receive during the trip will directly benefit families by helping provide education and support.
"We are not only helping families by providing aid in the form of financial support, but also helping the families by making sure they know that we don't forget who they lost,” added Mincio.
Matt Sauri says its an honor to ride side by side with Mincio. He calls him an American Hero.
“This is a guy who had achieved what many would consider the American dream. He was the Vice President of one of the largest investment banks in the world, Goldman Sachs. So he was there in downtown Manhattan on September 11th. When he watched those towers come down he decided to resign his position and enlisted in the Army so that he could be an infantryman and defend his country and fight for his country and what he believed in,” said Sauri.
Tuesday the duo will begin Act II which ends on August 18th in Doswell, VA.
Their complete trek will take 95 days, covering 4,200 miles. Their journey will eventually end at Ground Zero in Manhattan, New York.
You can follow their journey, view photos, or make a donation online at www.teamjesse.org. A link is below.