EL PASO, Texas -- An 18-year Marine veteran is riding across the Southwestern U.S. on his bike to raise money for homeless veterans and for the families of the 13 service members lost in Afghanistan during the U.S troop withdraw.
After 3 weeks on the road, Jimmy Wong of Corpus Christi stopped in El Paso to rest before he continued his journey to California.
As he travels, Wong pulls a 400-pound wooden trailer, that he built to sleep in, on his journey.
“Three weeks being on the road, sometimes I didn’t know if I was going to make it up the next hill,” Wong explained.
Wong said he tries to ride at least 40 miles a day and has raised over $16,000 in donations so far.
He said he plans to divide that money between the families of the 13 service members and efforts to help homeless veterans.
Tim Cooper, president of the Harley Owners Group El Paso chapter, saw Wong resting in Roosevelt, Texas and stopped to give him food and water there.
Being a veteran himself and learning about his journey, Cooper spoke with Mark Barnett of Barnett Harley-Davidson El Paso to help Wong as he passed through the Borderland.
They provided him with a 4-day stay at a local hotel and upgrades to his trailer that included new tires.
“I saw him and I saw what he was doing and, you know, it's easy for me to turn the key in the truck right up the road and go get him some food, but that doesn't outweigh what he does,” said Cooper.
“I never even expected this, not at all, I could say I'm very grateful,” replied Wong.
Being medically discharged from the service and hospitalized in a coma for a year and a half, Wong said he still wanted to help his fellow vets and after seeing the attack of the 13 fallen in Afghanistan - he said it only added to the motivation to ride.
“It's not for me, it's for the veterans, for those 13 families, that's what I'm doing it for,” said Wong.
With 972 miles left to go in his 1,500-mile journey, he indicated his daughter is waiting for him at the finish line in California.
To donate to Wong’s cause, you can click here to visit his Facebook page.