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Oregon man rides to aid injured soldiers

PRINCETON — A man from Portland, Ore., who is riding his bicycle to raise funds for wounded soldiers, stopped in Princeton last Friday night.

Scot King, a former corporal in the U.S. Marines, started riding his bicycle on May 7 from the steps of the Oregon state capitol in Salem, Ore., and intends to stop in each of the capitols of the lower 48 states.

King is the president and founder of Remember The Wounded Ride, a charity set up to raise awareness and funds for military personnel wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan.

King’s goal is to raise $1 million in the two years it will take him to complete the ride. He is on the first leg of the trip from May to October, covering about 8,165 miles with the second trek in 2012 from May to October, covering an additional 12,000 miles.

As part of the ride, King has interviewed combat wounded veterans and is collecting their stories for a series of books that will chronicle their experiences. In each state, a combat wounded veteran will be selected to be honored for his/her service and to represent all veterans of that state.

At each state capitol, King will request a state flag from the governor’s office. All flags will be brought back to Portland, Ore., where they will be represented in the Veterans Memorial Coliseum during a special ceremony at the end of the ride. Each flag will represent the combat wounded veterans of its respective state and their service to the country.

Illinois was the 16th state that King has ridden his bike. He started in Oregon and went through Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin, in that order, before coming to Illinois and through Princeton.

He will go through Kentucky, Indiana. Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland before ending his 2011 trip in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 29.

He will fly back to Oregon and start the second leg of the trip in May of 2012 at Washington, D.C., before hitting the rest of the 15 states’ capitols.

According to the schedule on his website, King was to visit Springfield Monday before leaving Tuesday to finish the rest of his first leg of the trip.

King, a member of an Elks Lodge, stops and interview veterans at lodges in towns he goes through or stays.

“My grandfather was a 51-year member of the Elks,” he said while stopping in Princeton. “I proudly carry my Elk tooth (on a necklace). Elks helps many veterans and provides more scholarship funds than the federal government.”

King’s progress can be monitored on the website at www.rememberthewoundedride.com. It has links to King’s Facebook page and Twitter.

Comment on this story at www.bcrnews.com.

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