MIAMI (WSVN) - Colonel Gary West is no average man — he has served in the U.S. Air Force for 26 years, commanded at the Squadron and Group levels and was a F-15 Fighter Pilot. But he isn’t done fighting just yet.

Now, West is in the midst of a 2,500-mile bike ride, spanning 16 states, to honor of fallen and disabled warriors.

West is embarking on the Patriot Honor Ride in order to raise funds and awareness for Folds of Honor, a nonprofit organization assisting disabled or fallen veterans and their families across the United States. “I came home from three combat tours and was able to help my three boys get their education and start their adult lives without any obstacles,” explained West. “Now, I want to do my part to help make sure some young person’s future is not left on the battlefield.”

On Wednesday, West was invited to the Homestead-Miami Speedway where he honored Navy Chief Petty Officer Richard Santos with a lap around the track. Santos, a Vietnam-era service member, passed away at the age of 52. His family lives in Florida, and his daughter is a Folds of Honor Higher Education Scholarship recipient.

West’s biking journey, which began on Aug. 1, started in Lubec, Maine and will conclude in Key West, Florida. The ride has taken him through 16 states.

In each state, West has folded and flown a U.S. flag in dedication to a Folds of Honor recipient.

For more information about the Patriot Honor Ride or to donate, please text #patriotride to 36413 or go to All donations will benefit Folds of Honor.

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