By Melissa Garcia

DENVER (CBS4)– A Marine Corps veteran is riding a bicycle across the country to raise awareness for suicide prevention.

Denny Ying, 36, a Marine Corps veteran, made a stop Sunday at Denver Fire Department’s station #21.

(credit: CBS)

So far in 2018, there have been just as many firefighter suicides as deaths in the line of duty. Ying wants to improve the statistics.

(credit: Denny Ying)

Earlier this year, Ying did not own a bike. Now he is pedaling across the country to raise awareness for suicide prevention.

Denny Ying (credit: CBS)

“A lot of times we give, give, give, give and give, and we forget to take better care of ourselves,” Ying told CBS4’s Melissa Garcia.

(credit: CBS)

Ying started #TeamRidesForHope after his own struggle with depression.

(credit: CBS)

He also lost a friend to suicide last month, before he set off on the 3,800-mile mission.

(credit: CBS)

“It breaks my heart to know that she was struggling so much, overwhelmed. And she made the choice that she did,” Ying said.

(credit: CBS)

He wears a shirt honoring the lost loved one of friend and family members who he has met along the way.

(credit: CBS)

More than 1,000 miles into his journey, Ying has touched countless hearts, and so have the people who he is riding for.

(credit: Denny Ying)

“The truth is, they are so important,” Ying said. “Is it okay that we’re not perfect? Maybe it is okay.”

(credit: CBS)

Ying is starting a cycling team of survivors to continue raising awareness.

LINK: Denny Ying Team Ride For Hope Website | Denny Ying Facebook

SUICIDE HOTLINE: 1.844.493.8255 or text TALK to 38255

LINK: Mental Health Colorado

Melissa Garcia has been reporting for CBS4 News since March 2014. Find her bio here, follow her on Twitter @MelissaGarciaTV, or send your story idea to mkgarcia@cbs.com.

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