A west coast cyclist on a mission made a pit stop in western Massachusetts Tuesday.
Honor, empower and motivate, that’s the mission of Operation Enduring Warrior and what volunteer athlete and retired US army veteran Danny Stokes is striving for.
The non-profit organization helps our nation’s wounded veterans through physical, mental and emotional rehabilitation.
Tuesday marked Day 9 out of a 40 day journey Danny was assigned, riding on a tandem bike from Maine to Florida. On Tuesday, he stopped in Ludlow before riding towards New York.
The second seat belonged to John Hunt, a blind retired Marine veteran who dreamed of completing this ride but tragically died last month while training but this sudden loss isn’t stopping Danny’s mission.
Danny’s 2,700 mile journey to Florida should end by mid-September and he told 22News it’s a journey that he won’t be making alone. Danny said that although John won’t physically be with him, his spirit will.
“He wanted this bicycle tour to show people that you can get out a live life and over come adversity. By continuing this mission in his memory. I’m hoping to keep his legacy alive,” said Stokes.
Danny told 22News riding the bike alone has been intense at times. He had planned on riding an average of 100 miles per day but has been doing around 60. Danny’s said he’s also pushing about 20 more pounds of weight with him from two memorial stones strapped to the back of his tandem. The stones are part of The Summit Project, and honor the lives of a fallen Army and Marine veteran.
Danny said that he would be headed to Connecticut then New York later Tuesday.