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Local veterans plan 220-mile bike ride from Rockport to Austin

Posted at 10:04 AM, Jan 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-30 11:36:21-05

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Two military veterans are doing a 220-mile bike ride from Rockport to Austin. The purpose is to bring awareness to the increasing rate of suicides among vets.

The number of veterans who commit suicide recently climbed from 22 per day to 24 per day.

“This is a huge epidemic that people need to get involved in,” said veteran David Jones.

After Jones and veteran Hershel Shoats lost another veteran friend dear to them in November, they decided to do something about it.

“The pain and anguish of his wife and 2 beautiful daughters it stuck a sting big time in me,” said Jones.

They organized a 220-mile bike ride from Rockport to Austin, calling it the Coast to Capital bike ride.

To raise awareness and help others get involved in preventing veteran suicides.

“Twenty-two veterans, I was one of them I tried to take my life 4 times,” said Shoats. “The last time I took 36 Tylenol PM I was out of it, I woke up in the worst hurt.”

“These are men and women who have put their lives on the line for us to be able to sit here and do things like this for people to just go on with their lives and it’s taken for granted,” said Jones. “These people sign up for it, they know what they're doing, they love their country so how about we show a little compassion back to them and help them get back on the road to success.”

The ride starts on March 20th. They want to attract as much attention as they can, but not to themselves, rather to the cause.

“You know love attracts love,” said Shoats. “The love of now the love of self, creating a good atmosphere around you a good partnership helps us create each other and what’s going on right now -- brotherhood, sisterhood compassion, I’m grateful for this man every day,” said Shoats.

Jones and Shoats have trained four days a week since November. They'll be passing through seven small towns before getting to the steps of the capital, where they hope to have a crowd of support waiting for them.

The bikers will be followed by a brigade of trucks and RV's.