WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – A nearly 3 month journey through 48 states and over 15,000 miles has now come to an end.
On Sunday, Army veteran Perry Stead was joined by his family and more than 60 bikers and other veterans in Wilmington.
The journey he calls “Ride for the Light” It began on May 20 and took Stade across the United Nations. The purpose was to retrieve the remains of two brothers who lost their lives after serving our country. One was in Parkers Prairie, Minnesota, and the other in San Luis Obispo, California.
The mission was to collect the remains and spread them over the sand at the Sicily Drop Zone at Fort Bragg, Stead said.
He said he learned some valuable lessons while sharing stories with people along the way.
“Every time I tell my story, every time I talk to someone, you take some of their pain, some of their sadness. Trying to run on the road is too much. So when you talk to some of the people who have influenced me, you have to make a little effort to live in the now and just notice what’s around you. said Steed.
He has his own company called Stead. Operation: Purpose “Veterans are 50% more likely to die by suicide than those who have not served,” the website said to raise awareness about veterans struggling with mental health issues.
When Steed’s family first arrived, they were waiting for him to turn the curb into Paul’s place, and his wife, Liz, says they supported him the whole way.
“We are a team, the children respect their father. They know that he has faced the struggle. So we want to support him and encourage him to take this trip because he wants to do it. said Steed.
Liz says the look on her children’s faces when their father arrived was priceless.
It was perfect. Our middle daughter was telling me how much she thought about them and how long it would take. You’ve definitely been counting down the days. said Steed
Among the cyclists and veterans who gave Steed a warm welcome was Jason Gilbert. Gilbert and his wife have been friends with the Steed family for a few years, and Gilbert said the show of support was touching.
“It’s encouraging to see that people care. It’s just an eye opener, allowing you to see all of this around us right now. This will let you know exactly how big this community is. And how many people really care. said Gilbert.
Steed had a message for his brothers in the same predicament.
“I encourage other people to see this, veterans, talk, reach out to your fellow veterans, because some of the best help I’ve had on this journey is just talking to my friends, the people I meet. We haven’t seen each other in 20 years, we are attracted to each other and find strength. said Steed.
Copyright 2022 WECT. all rights reserved.