ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - Three war veterans on a mission -- to bike more than 4100 miles from the Wall of Valor in Bakersfield California to the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial Wall in Washington D.C.
The project is called the Wall to Wall Bike Tour and it's goal is to raise awareness about issues that alarm them including disturbing veteran suicide rates and the challenges of returning home.
On Memorial day the team accomplished that goal, but the ride through New Mexico was anything but smooth.
Jeremy Staat, Wesley Barrientos and Dale Porter's mission started February 19, and by the time the crew hit New Mexico the crew was in rough shape.
American Tire Factory in Gallup fixed nine of their truck and trailer tires for free, but the the wind kicked up.
"It was a huge sandstorm," said Staat. "I think there was 55 mile per hour sustained winds," he laughed.
Staat says the weather wasn't exactly friendly, but the people definitely were.
The crew toured Kirtland Air Force Base, UNM and Albuquerque. Mayor R.J. Berry even declared a day in their honor on March 19th.
"Meeting the mayor of Albuquerque was just awesome. Albuquerque was one of the great cities and New Mexico one of the states that treated us really, really well," Staat recalled.
The group has time lapse video of their ride from the Duke City to Morarity on their Facebook page . They were greeted with flags in Santa Rosa and also toured Cannon Air Force Base before disaster struck outside of Tucumcarri.
Wesley Barrientos a double amputee who lost both his legs in Iraq took a tumble on his crank bike. He dislocated his shoulder and was forced to stop riding for awhile. Barrientos eventually stopped biking near Memphis after crashed again and re-injured the same shoulder.
Monday he helped Staat lay a wreath in at the Vietnam Memorial in Washington D.C. the official end of the ride.
"It was just a huge pressure and relief off my shoulders. We finally made it, but at the same time, it was a very humbling experience as well," said Staat.
He says now the vets will focus on making sure future generations never forget the sacrifices given for their freedom.
"A country that forgets its veterans, will itself be soon forgotten," he quoted.
The third member of their team, Dale Porter, 65, a Vietnam veteran crashed hard on his bike on day five and couldn't go on because of the pain.
For more information about the mission and the veterans visit their website www.walltowallbicycleride.com .
A District Court judge has ordered city leaders respond to a petition filed by an animal activist on the city's trap-neuter-return approach of managing feral cats.
Police responded to dozens of weather-related crashes in only a matter of hours Sunday.
A small plane crashed at about 8 a.m. Sunday morning on the Canyon Rim Trail near N.M. 502 and the entrance of Los Alamos.
Albuquerque's famous Bugg Lights Christmas can now be seen every night until Christmas Eve.
Morning Headlines and Forecast from KRQE New This Morning with Matt Mauro & Meteorologist Kristen Van Dyke.
Sunday night in Albuquerque and around the world people gathered for candlelight vigils to remember the loss of their children.