Retired marine bikes across country for Gold Star Families stops in Kansas

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WICHITA, Kansas — Jennifer Marino is a retired Marine with a new mission to cycle across the United States sharing stories of military families who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Her cross country trek took her to Kansas this weekend.

“I’ve had a personal bucket list to ride a bike from coast to coast,” said Jennifer Marino, retired marine.

But that personal bucket list is more than just a list for Jennifer Marino.

The retired marine has been cycling across the country since August 10th. She’s hoping to reach out to Gold Star Families who have lost a loved one in the line of duty.

“I just realized that there are large number of Gold Star Families who kind of have the same concern,” said Marino. “How do they keep the memory of their loved one alive and make sure their service means something to people and continue to mean something?”

Marino wanted to combine her love for cycling and her desire to keep the memory of fallen heroes alive so she started Gold Star Ride.

The purpose is to connect with Gold Star Mothers in 17 different states in 77 days.

“I’m really riding in honor of that’s person’s loved one, their fallen hero,” said Marino. “I try to keep the person in mind because it helps to fuel me along and give me the energy and motivation to keep peddling.”

Marino is almost halfway done with her journey. She’s been cycling for 36 days.

Gold Star Mother Anita Dixon of Wichita wanted to show her appreciation for Marino so she presented her with a gold medal pendant at Veterans Memorial Park.

Marino also spoke to Gold Star Mothers at the American Legion Post 4.

Her next stop will be in Texas and by the end of her journey she’s hoping to clock around 3,100 miles.

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