The Globe | camplejeuneglobe.com | July 26, 2012
Tim Tuomey, a Marine Corps veteran, took to the road April 20 on a mission to raise awareness about the need for support for combat-wounded veterans. Tuomey called his mission to raise awareness Operation Awakening. More than 3,300 miles and 63 days later, Tuomey finished his long and arduous journey across America on the sands of Onslow Beach.
Operation Awakening was created to raise awareness and funding to help improve the health and welfare of returning Marines and Sailors. The money Tuomey raised was donated to the Semper Fi Fund to assist combat wounded service members and their families.
The 20-year veteran began his bicycle ride from Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center in Bridgeport, Calif., where hundreds of spectators lined the streets to see him off. He pedaled away with the bare necessities to survive and Warthog, the bicycle he rode for more than two months under some of the most grueling conditions.
Harsh and challenging conditions are nothing new to the former reconnaissance Marine who spent his time in the Corps with 2nd Reconnaissance Battalion, 2nd Marine Division. He served alongside his fellow warriors on the shores of Onslow Beach, where Tuomey felt it would be fitting to end his biking expedition.
"I'm just happy I accomplished my goal and raised as much money as we did," said Tuomey. "The kindness and appreciation people showed me on my journey really humbled me."
After traveling approximately 3,355 miles, Tuomey ended his journey in front of a crowd of familiar faces applauding his unique valor. The crowd had several past members of 2nd Recon Bn., a multitude of spectators and family members who were eagerly awaiting the end of the trek.
"We're so proud of him," said Jeremiah Tuomey. "He made it safe and sound and we're glad it's finally over."
Tuomey took a brief moment after catching his breath to thank everyone for their support as he recalled his 62-day mission. He also revealed Operation Awakening was able to raise more than $45,000, and is currently well above $50,000.
"I'm just happy I accomplished my goal and raised as much money as we did,' said Tuomey. "The kindness and appreciation people showed me on my journey really humbled me."