POPLARVILLE, MS (WLOX) - By Jessica Bowman – email
POPLARVILLE, MS (WLOX) - Former U.S. Navy SEALs and patriotic supporters are pedaling their way across the country to raise awareness and funding for the Naval Special Warfare Foundation. The cross country bicycle ride began in Cornado, California and will end in Ft. Pierce, Florida.
Local police and fire officials, along with members of the Special Boat Team 22 from Stennis, met the men in Poplarville Tuesday as the team made their way down Highway 26.
"I really have enjoyed coming through Louisiana and into Mississippi," Mike Badger said. "Particularly enjoyed the special welcome from the Special Boat Team 22 and from everybody in Poplarville. It's been very special for us."
Team leader Mike Badger retired from the Navy SEALs as a Lieutenant in 1973. He said the team was on day 31 of their 42 day ride. Badger said traveling about 90 miles per day is tough, but the mission is worth every mile.
"We're riding to raise awareness for the Naval Special Warfare and Foundation. The Naval Special Warfare supports the families of SEALs killed in action and also the Wounded SEAL Warriors," said Badger.
The patriotic men said they are happy to be pedaling across the country, more than 3,000 miles, to help their fellow SEALs and their families who have devoted their lives to serving their country.
"It's time for us to give back. Since 9/11 the SEAL team and really all the services have made extraordinary sacrifices and this is the least we can do," said Badger.
Badger said they hope to raise $100,000 to $200,000 during their journey that started September 26th and ends November 6th. You can help out the cause by making a donation to SEALs Bike America.