A wounded veteran who lost both his legs to an IED in Afghanistan crossed the finish line at the Marine Corps War Memorial earlier this week completing a 3,800 mile journey. The wounded Marine, Toran Gaal, rode his hand bike from San Diego to Virginia with the purpose of raising money and awareness for the Semper Fi fund.
Not only did the wounded veteran complete his cross-country bike ride ahead of schedule, but he also exceeded his fund-raising goal as well. When he reached the Marine Corps War Memorial, Gaal had completed his ride in 63 days (2 days ahead of schedule) and raised close to $50,000 ($40,000 was his goal) for the Semper Fi Fund.
Fellow Marine Rian Marinez, who served alongside Gaal, said, "There's no words that you could even put in place to explain how proud anyone could be of Gaal right now."
Congratulation to this brave military veteran who set out on this solo journey to help his fellow Marines. And thank you for reminding us - as you share on your website - that, "The only limits in life are those which we set for ourselves."
When we see stories like this inspiring wounded veteran's story of strength, courage, loyalty and determination; it makes us humbled to know that with your support we are able to help wounded veterans and military families.
Gaal's trek across the United States began in June. He hand-biked across the country, both day and night, alone with the exception of a fellow veteran riding in a support vehicle.
Along with his goal of helping the Semper Fi Fund, what kept the wounded Marine veteran motivated? Gaal said, "I think the biggest thing that made me go is my family, and I didn't want at any time for any moment to quit, because I wanted to be an inspiration for my family."
Needless to say, his journey was a life-changing experience and gave him a new perspective on our great country and its citizens who helped support him along the ride.
"We don't ever get to appreciate what America really is. And to go through these small towns, big cities and really just see the patriotism really warmed my heart," Gaal said.
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