TAMPA, Fla. (970 WFLA)–For the past two months she’s traveled thousands of miles, from coast to coast, through about a dozen states. But Kiersten Downs hasn’t driven a car or hopped on an airplane. The University of South Florida student and Iraq war veteran has experienced the entire journey by riding her bicycle.
Downs has completed her ride and crossed the finish line in Washington, D.C. on Monday, Aug. 5, having raised more than $50,000 for Student Veterans of America.
At the finish line Downs was met by a group of supporters, including members of USF’s SVA chapter, USF Associate Vice President for Veterans Research and Executive Director of Military Partnerships Lt. Gen. Martin Steele, USMC (Ret.), as well as leadership from the national SVA organization.
Downs is currently a PhD student in anthropology at USF. She started in San Francisco in early June, raising money and awareness for SVA, a national organization dedicated to providing veterans with the resources and support to make a successful transition from the military to campus life.
At the beginning of Downs’ journey, MTV, MTV2, and mtvU featured her story, with a special appearance by "America’s Got Talent" host Nick Cannon
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