Duo paddles 2,200 miles to raise awareness for soldiers

Two outdoorsman are paddling their way up the East Coast to raise awareness for the environment and our wounded warriors.

WTOC caught up with them during their stop on Skidaway Island just before they continued on their 2,200 mile journey to inspire others.

"We are leaving Skidaway Island and we are standing up for those that stood up for us," said paddle boarder Mike Simpson. "We are heading to Hilton Head and saying by to Georgia."

With just a few waterproof bags of belongings that are specially made paddleboards, Will Rich and Mike Simpson are taking a stance for two important causes.

"The further north we have gotten, we are running into a lot of military families and we are shocked by what they are doing for our freedoms," said Simpson. "They see what we are doing and they are blown away. They can't believe we would do something like this, just to raise the awareness."

With each stoke they take, they are trying to raise money for solders and awareness to protect the environment. Their trip, which began in March, benefits the Wounded Warrior Project and Stand Up Paddle Clean Up.

"We are trying to let people know the troops are coming back and they need more help than they are given," said Rich. "A lot of times they are forgotten and they shouldn't be. We are trying to help them and show it doesn't take much to clean up the environment."

After hearing what these men are doing for the environment and soldiers they have never met, landings resident Pat Brooks and his family took the duo in.

"I think it's really cool they are bringing awareness not to themselves, but to the environment and soldiers," said Brooks. "Those are causes that need attention."

From Skidaway Island, they will paddle to Maine, their final destination, hoping to raise awareness and inspire others along the way.

Their goal is to reach Portland, Maine, by July 4. For more information on how you can help or if you would like to track them during their journey visit www.supthecoast.com/index.html. For more information on paddle boarding locally visit paddlesavannah.com.

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