U.S. Army veteran Kevin Bittenbender served for 34 years before retiring as a sergeant major in 2018. Throughout his service, he deployed several times in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. As a result of combat deployments, Kevin was exposed to burn pits, causing him to face extreme health problems. 

After facing a foot amputation because of the burn pits, Kevin had a tough time maintaining his active lifestyle, resulting in emotional strain that almost caused Kevin to become a statistic among the 22 veterans lost daily to suicide. It was after connecting with HOPE in 2015 and being gifted a handcycle to help him on his recovery journey, that Kevin found motivation to keep pushing forward. After being gifted the handcycle, Kevin began participating in races to pay tribute to three of his soldiers and friends who were KIA during an ambush. After completing his first marathon (Marine Corps Marathon), Kevin was hooked on his new passion and continued to participate in races despite undergoing a left leg below the knee amputation in February 2022.

Kevin stands as a true testament of resilience, courage, and HOPE in the face of loss, and we are honored to share his inspirational story.