Garden City man cycling cross country to raise awareness for veterans' mental health
BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) —
It's a staggering statistic.
Every day, 22 United States military veterans commit suicide. Now, a Garden City man is trying to do something about it.
Like many of us, Steve McCamey regularly takes his bike out of the garage and heads to the Greenbelt.
But unlike us, when McCamey rides it isn't for fun it's to raise awareness for a cause he says all too often goes ignored.
"We've got veterans here that are suffering every day. And the fact that we've got over 20 a day that are committing suicide right here in America right on their own soil. And so I want to make sure that people understand that and that they understand that there are people here that are suffering," McCamey said.
For McCamey veterans' mental health isn't just something he's passionate about, it's something he's witnessed first hand.
His father Robert served 25 years in the Marines and his wife Shannon is a major in the United States Air Force.
"She was diagnosed from her last deployment with post traumatic stress disorder," McCamey said. "So she's been basically in treatment and in therapy since the day she got back and she continues to struggle with the issues associated with PTSD."
After watching his wife struggle, McCamey decided enough is enough.
So he took seven weeks off of work. In those 7 weeks McCamey will ride his bike from the Pacific Ocean all the way to the Atlantic.
The ride is more than 3,300 miles, but McCamey said it's nothing.
"The fact that there are veterans who have committed the ultimate sacrifice for our country and the fact that they deployed and were away from their families for so long; any pain and suffering I experience will be minimal in regards to what these guys have done," said McCamey.
McCamey will ride 70 to 100 miles six days a week until he reaches the beaches of New Bern, North Carolina.
With every push of the peddle, he will reflect on his cause and his loved ones who have brought him to care about it so much.
"I've got the memories from my father from the year we spent together," McCamey said. "And most recently the memories I have of my wife, of the good times we had. trying to remember that there is hope, there is hope, and that there is an ability to continue to get better."
With that goal in mind McCameys's journey from sea to shining seas is underway.
You can follow Steve on his mission to raise awareness every day on KBOI 2News and IdahoNews.com.
Every day on our newscasts we'll have an update showing McCamey's progress along with a couple photos from the road.
McCamey will also be sending us daily video updates which we'll post on our Facebook page.
McCamey hopes his ride will reach millions and raise more awareness about veterans suicide and PTSD than every before.