Vietnam veteran bicycling 400+ miles to help homeless veterans

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INDIANAPOLIS (July 9, 2015) - On a bicycle you've got to keep on going – though sometimes the journey is very long.

Jack Wickes knows that kind of struggle. He served as a sergeant in Vietnam.

“It certainly gave me a deeper understanding and appreciation for those who have served,” said Wickes.

He's also spent years helping homeless veterans who've struggled just to get by.

That's why Wickes is taking a journey of his own: 462 miles in 7 days on a bicycle.

“It’s really made the ride more personal in the sense that not only am I doing it for my own physical fitness, but it’s also serving as a focal point to raise money for a worthy organization,” said Wickes, who is raising money for HVAF of Indiana, where he once served as board member.

“Funding is crucial to what we do,” said Debra Des Vignes, VP of marketing for HVAF of Indiana. “This is a very unique fundraiser in that he’s putting his words to action. He’s getting on his bike and making it happen... we’re thrilled he’s doing this for us.”

Still, Jack’s 68 years old, and he knows it won't be easy.

“One of the goals I had when I retired was to do more with physical fitness,” said Wickes. “So I said ‘I need a goal,’ so I came up with a goal to ride across Iowa which is 470 miles in 7 days.”

He’s taking part in a bicycle ride called RAGBRAI starting next weekend in Iowa.

“I’ve never done it before,” said Wickes. “This is my first time, so there’s a lot I don’t know about it.”

What he does know is that other veterans have had it much worse.

“I think it's important that we help, that we provide,” said Wickes. “If I can help HVAF, it makes me feel good about myself.”

Click here to follow Jack’s journey or donate to his cause.

Wickes is contributing 50 cents for every mile he rides, and he’s challenging others to help as well.

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