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Teen on bike tour to support Wounded Warrior Project

Published On: Jun 28 2013 07:54:01 PM MDT

A Michigan teen is biking cross-country to support the Wounded Warrior Project. He pedaled to our Kalispell studios Friday morning to talk about the next leg in his journey.

Luke Wiltse is no stranger to bike tours - they've been a summer tradition since he was 9 years old. The 17 year old from Michigan is 634 miles into his trip from Seattle, Washington to Oscoda, Michigan.

"When I started to do the work for the tour I said to myself, 'This is going to be so much work, why not do it for a good cause,'" said Wiltse.

He set his sights on the Wounded Warrior Project and is dedicating his trip to his uncle, a Vietnam veteran.

"My uncle is very supportive of it because he doesn't want to see anyone go through what he had to go through when he came back," Wiltse explained. "There was little to no support."

His goal is to raise $20,000 for WWP's rehabilitation programs that help vets recover and transition into civilian life.

"I've actually stayed at a few veteran's houses along my route. They invited me in to stay with them and that was great," Wiltse said. "They were really supportive and wanted to help me out."

While Wiltse told us he gets nervous being alone, he said its the excitement of what lies down the road, like biking over Logan Pass, that keeps him on his patriotic pedaling mission.

"Not everything went quite to plan with this tour but I have to carry on and I have to keep pushing forward even through all the obstacles."

To learn more about his trip or to donate, visit the Patriotic Peddling Tour 2013 Facebook page.