SHERMAN, TX-- A man who fought to help disabled veterans died. Rita Kotey had a chance to talk with Kevin Baker last week, just three days before he died and just six days into his journey.
During the Gulf War a scud missile hit his barracks, leaving him bound to a wheelchair, but this brave soldier pressed on. To honor all veterans, Baker decided to ride a hand-propelled bicycle across the country.
"I realized that if I’m going to do something, I wanted to do it this year just to make sure that I would get it done," said Baker.
He planned to ride from Norman, Oklahoma to Washington DC, waving the honor and remembering the flag with a special stop at the capitol in hopes of seeing President Obama.
"I want to present this to him to let him know that we need to never forget the ones who have fallen for our freedom," said Baker.
On his stop through Sherman, he met Martha and Bill Neyman.
Martha says she couldn’t bear to think about baker at a campground in the rain, so the couple put him up in a hotel so he could get some rest before he continued his journey.
"I’m not trying to tell him what to do, but I just wanted him to be safe," said Neyman.
Last week's rain prevented baker from riding any further than Sherman, so family from Louisiana came to pick him up. When he got to Louisiana he suffered complications from a seizure and passed away.
George Lutz designed to honor and remember the flag after his son died in Iraq. He says he is grateful that even after his military career; Baker gave his life for a noble cause.
“Knowing his condition physically that he would undertake something so strenuous so physical to do that and then to take our cause basically under his wing and promote that was just an incredible honor to us," said Lutz.
Neyman says although Baker was not able to deliver the flag to the President, his memory will live on.
"Kevin is not going to be a forgotten veteran. It’s because of his own deeds it brings notice to him," said Neyman.
"I’ve been fighting for almost 20 years for the government to listen to me and I’m hoping that this will make a big point for soldiers angels, to honor and remember the flag, and hopefully they will say they this guy did all this… how come we cant help him? I love my country,” said Baker.