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Jake Welch during his year-long cycling challenge to raise awareness for veteran suicide and support for Virginia-based Hope For The Warriors.

FAIRFAX, VA. (Feb. 2, 2022) – A Navy veteran recently raised more than $1,800 through a year-long cycling challenge to benefit Hope For The Warriors, a national nonprofit dedicated to restoring a sense of self, family and hope for veterans, service members and military families.

Jake Welch, a Navy veteran who served seven years, took up cycling two years ago after several skiing injuries, and after logging over 5,000 miles his first year of riding, decided to use the miles he logged in 2021 to help a veterans’ nonprofit. After extensive research, he selected Hope For The Warriors because of its longstanding four star Charity Navigator rating.

Welch, who’s wife is active-duty with the Air Force with 14 years of service, challenged himself to ride 22 miles a day to bring attention to the suicide rate among veterans, which has averaged as high as 22 a day. Despite some major health issues, including back surgery, he reached his goal of 8,020 miles.

“What drew me to Hope For The Warriors was the work they do with mental health services. That’s why I chose the 22. The significance of the number coincides with the terrible statistic that 22 veterans commit suicide every day on average,” said Welch. “I’m sure when we look at the lockdown, we’re going to see veterans are going to be greatly affected. I thought this was a good time to do this because a lot of people are stressed and depressed, especially veterans.”

Celebrating 15 years of service, Hope For The Warriors assists veterans, service members and military families with a variety of programming including clinical health and wellness, sports and recreation and transition services.

“When Hope For The Warriors started 15 years ago, we dreamed of veterans helping veterans like Jake did with his year-long cycling effort,” said Robin Kelleher, co-founder and president of the nonprofit organization. “Jake truly impacted the well-being of the many veterans, service members and families who have bravely served and sacrificed for our country.”

For more information on Hope For The Warriors, visit hopeforthewarriors.orgFacebookTwitter or Instagram.

About Hope For The Warriors: Founded in 2006, Hope For The Warriors is a national nonprofit dedicated to restoring a sense of self, family and hope for post-9/11 veterans, service members and military families. Since its inception, Hope For The Warriors has served over 36,000 through a variety of support programs focused on clinical health and wellness, sports and recreation and transition. One of the nonprofit’s first programs, Military Spouse and Caregiver Scholarships, has awarded 183 scholarships to caregivers and families of the fallen. For more information, visit hopeforthewarriors.orgFacebookTwitter or Instagram.