Go Fund Me: Cycling Across America for Veterans
Creative Loafing's occasional post to highlight interesting projects Atlantans are doing for fellow Atlantans.
CL Editors - I'm an Atlanta native with big dreams this summer. I'm a graduating non-traditional senior at GSU and a full-time employee at San Francisco Coffee, your colleague Mr. Radford actually frequents our location in Poncey Highland. I was wondering, would Creative Loafing be willing to feature a short blurb about a cross-country bike trip I have planned for this summer? I'm planning to bike from Savannah, GA to Seattle, WA in an effort to raise awareness for Gulf War Syndrome, a medical mystery affecting many of the veterans of the Persian Gulf War, including my father. Along with raising awareness for the cause I am also attempting to raise money to donate to three charities affecting veterans and their families. Here's my gofundme campaign if you'd like to read more!
In my studies as a writer I’ve learned about the rule of perception, if the audience can’t perceive it, it doesn’t exist. Well, while this may be true for moving pictures, the same cannot and should not be said about physical disabilities. On the contrary, those disabilities that pass by unseen to the naked eye are oftentimes the most insidious, which brings me to my point; my father, a Desert Storm Veteran, has been ailed by the multi-faceted illness commonly referred to as Gulf War Syndrome, a medical mystery that the Department of Veterans Affairs prefers not to acknowledge, because as their website states, “symptoms vary widely.” Still, this is no excuse to bury those veterans afflicted beneath mountains of paperwork; send them on trips to and from the hospital only to be told the wrong form has been filed, or they don’t have the proper identification; hand out misdiagnoses coupled with the haphazard prescriptions of dangerous opioids for pain management; and the worst of all: outright dismissal. My promise to those who are in the same boat—be it Gulf War Syndrome, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, et cetera—which, since I’ve begun this campaign I’ve learned are more common than I initially thought, is this: we haven’t forgotten about you.
This summer I’m planning to bike across the country—from Savannah, GA to Seattle, WA—in efforts to raise awareness of Gulf War Syndrome and all the veterans out there who struggle with the Department of Veterans Affairs to receive prompt care or due benefits. I’m also working to raise money to donate to two charities, Disabled American Veterans and Fisher House Foundation, as well as the National Desert Storm War Memorial Association, which I have been in contact with and hope to work with for the remainder of the campaign. If you have been personally affected or someone dear to you has been personally affected, this campaign is for you. I wish to serve simply as a mouthpiece for those who feel that they have no voice.
Check out my Gofundme Campaign for more details.