NORMAL--Two local veterans turned cross country cyclists are home after raising awareness for fellow soldiers across the nation.
It's called the "Sea to Shining sea tour," and its 3,800 miles.
Veterans Andrew Jansen and John Malkin, traveled that distance on their bikes across America.
"I knew if I could get out there, I could do my job better," said Jansen. "My job is to serve veterans."
The pair began their cross country journey in May.
To help disabled service members like themselves.
"My mission was to help veterans if I could and to show them especially guys with PTSD and panic disorder they don't' have to be afraid."
Jansen, a former airman, suffers from post traumatic stress disorder and panic attacks after serving in the United States Air Force.
Malkin developed narcolepsy after getting a concussion while in the Navy Seabees.
"I'm definitely going to overcome this," said Malkin. "The road will be a little longer...but I will definitely prevail."
That's exactly what the pair did.
Joined by other disabled vets, the fleet traveled from San Francisco to Virginia Beach, handing out benefit information to soldiers in need.
"Medical, dental, schools everything...," lists Jansen.
Averaging about 65 miles a day, the group inspired a lot of people.
"Every town we rode into, there was always a wonderful welcome," Jansen described. You'd see people come out and wave flags. Even in the town of Ely, Nevada, where there's like 200 people... probably the whole town was out there."
When it comes to honoring those that serve, these cyclists say they're proud to be part of a country that understands what it means to be free.
"The people that came out that saw what we were doing, the people that we stopped at their VFW Posts, AMVETS, American Legion Posts all across the country, they told us how powerful we were," Jansen said. "And we told them, you can do this too."
All it takes is a helping hand, and one heck of a journey to turn someone's life around.