Former Marines intend to kayak length of Mississippi to raise money for veterans’ charity

July 3rd, 2014

Article by: Associated Press | Updated: July 1, 2014 - 7:50 PM | Link to Article in Minneapolis Star Tribune

DUBUQUE, Iowa — Two former Marines are raising money for a charity by kayaking the Mississippi River, from Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico.

Former Marines Gabriel Vasquez, left, of Austin, Texas, and Nic Doucette, of Jefferson, Wis., paddle into Lock and Dam 11 in Dubuque, Iowa, on Monday, June 30, 2014. Doucette and Vasquez are paddling the Mississippi River from St. Paul to New Orleans to raise money for the Semper Fi Fund that provides financial assistance to families of Marines who were wounded in combat. (AP Photo/The Telegraph Herald, Nicki Kohl) MAGS OUT; TV OUT

Former Marines Gabriel Vasquez, left, of Austin, Texas, and Nic Doucette, of Jefferson, Wis., paddle into Lock and Dam 11 in Dubuque, Iowa, on Monday, June 30, 2014. Doucette and Vasquez are paddling the Mississippi River from St. Paul to New Orleans to raise money for the Semper Fi Fund that provides financial assistance to families of Marines who were wounded in combat. (AP Photo/The Telegraph Herald, Nicki Kohl) MAGS OUT; TV OUT

The Dubuque Telegraph Herald reports (http://bit.ly/1qhf3Tk) Nic Doucette, of Jefferson, Wisconsin, and Gabe Vasquez, of Austin, Texas, stepped out of their kayaks Monday in Dubuque, just before severe weather hit.

Doucette began the journey May 31 at the Mississippi headwaters in Minnesota's Itasca State Park. After he posted an item on Facebook about kayaking the river's length alone, Vasquez arranged to join up with him in Bemidji, Minnesota.

They're raising money for the Semper Fi Fund, a nonprofit that gives financial help to injured service members.

Doucette spent four years in the Marines, and Vasquez was a Marine for eight years.

The men, both 27, hope to raise $25,000.