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Navy veteran bikes cross-country to raise awareness for veteran nonprofit

Published: Jun. 28, 2020 at 10:47 AM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - A U.S. Navy veteran is on a cross-country journey to raise awareness and donations for wounded veterans.

Eight weeks ago Christian Crifasi strapped on his helmet and set out on a biking trip.

“I started the journey on May 2nd from San Diego, California and I slowly made my way across the country,” Crifasi said. “I worked my way across the southwest up through Phoenix into Durango, Colorado to Denver and then from Denver to Kansas City.”

Each peddle with a purpose, to help the men and women he proudly served beside.

“I started thinking about what I could do after I left the Navy,” he continued saying, “For me, being a veteran and then working with so many veterans and coming from a community that has a strong veteran preference, I felt this was the perfect organization to ride for.”

Crifasi’s trip is a fundraiser to help the nonprofit CreatiVets.

He said, “CreatiVets essentially works with wounded veterans to heal through the arts and music and to help address service related trauma. This is a pretty big issue in the U.S. considering veteran suicide accounts for close to 20% of the suicides in America.”

Being a veteran himself, he said this cause hits home.

“I saw the effects of the early 2000′s, the Iraq and Afghanistan war and then also being in the service I saw the impact that it had on the sailors that worked for me during my time in service and I just wanted to be able to help them,” Crifasi said.

While biking across the country is physically challenging, Crifasi said he embraced it.

“I ran in college and was always in really good shape as far as endurance stuff goes and I thought this was the perfect outlet and something to just kind of decompress from my time in the service,” he added.

Crifasi said every mile traveled will be worth it if he can help even just one of his fellow veterans.

“I want to raise awareness for CreatiVets and what they do,” he continued saying, “So, if there’s a veteran out there that’s in need and wants to talk with somebody or try to work through some of that service-related trauma, they can do it through CreatiVets.”

Anyone interested in supporting this fundraiser can make a donation directly at https://bikeforvets.com/.

Copyright 2020 WIBW. All rights reserved.

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