UnitedHealthcare Gulf Coast Challenge Recap

March 10, 2018

Our final day of riding the UnitedHealthcare Gulf Coast Challenge took us on a journey from Gulfport MS to the city of New Orleans, LA.

Wanted to share some of the stories from the participants themselves and what this week meant to them in their own words.

Daron K.

I will admit i struggle to get myself out there sometimes to do things outside of my norm. But after finishing the event i see that we are all truly i huge family. Sadly every great thing has to come to an end. I look forward to participating in a future event and I'm going to keep pushing myself when i get back to Arizona like i did in this amazing event. Thank you for being patient with me. It was a honor and a blessing to meet you all.

Ray P.

May 18th, 2007 a friend, a fellow Army Brother lost his life, was shot by a sniper a few feet from me on my patrol that I was leading. I blamed myself for his death since that day. He was supposed to go home on R&R to see his wife and his first daughter be born into this world the next day, he didn’t get to do that.

I ended up pushing my family away and also anyone else that was close to me because I felt I did not deserve them and I did not deserve the life I was still living because Doc didn’t get that chance. I self sabotaged for 10 Year’s fighting guilt, anger, depression, suicidal thoughts, and a host of other mental issues.

Last July I went to a PTSD Program and got myself back together both mentally and physically. In that program is where I found cycling and Project Hero. This past week on the Gulf Coast Challenge solidified that I can push forward with life, break down walls and barriers, both mentally and physically. Since my first Project Hero Challenge (California Challenge last year) which I did not complete every mile to this Gulf Coast Challenge (where I pushed and helped push recumbent cycles and upright cycles 5 out of the 6 days) I have came a long way, put it in a lot of work and I am proud of myself!

The 2018 UnitedHealthcare Gulf Coast Challenge was a great success due to the efforts of our dedicated American Legion riders, support of dozens of police and sheriff throughout our journey, our friends at UnitedHealthcare, the American Red Cross and especially our great riders.  We thank them all! 

We’ll ride again Texas next month – see you all then!


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