CASTLE ROCK, Colo. (CBS4) – Colorado veterans are back home after a 3,000 mile journey across the Atlantic Ocean. A four-man crew of army veterans made the trip in a rowboat to raise awareness for vets struggling with mental health problems.
After nearly two months at sea racing in the Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge, the rowers arrived back home Saturday.
Surrounded by supporters at a brewery on Sunday, veteran Bryant Knight is celebrating being back home in Castle Rock following his 54-days on a rowboat.
“Once we saw land, that was a very emotional time,” Knight told CBS4’s Melissa Garcia, of his return home.
Knight helped start Fight Oar Die in 2018, a non-profit organization fighting for those who are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injuries and the challenges of adjusting back to civilian life after serving in the military.
“Stop taking your life and start living your life,” Knight said, of the message behind the mission.
The crew set off in December from the Canary Islands off the coast of West Africa and arrived to their destination in February at the Caribbean island of Antigua.
“It’s a lifetime experience,” Knight said of the journey.
His wife Laurie, his son and his mother were among Coloradans and Antiguan locals who greeted the crew with cheers and hugs as they reached the shore.
“(They had) a ton of support,” Laurie said. “There’s no way I could ever really truly describe what it was like.”
Laurie said the organization’s message has traveled far.
“We’ve had people shout out to Fight Oar Die, like ‘I’m ready to fight and I’m not ready to die,’” Laurie said.
Knight and his fellow rowers set out to show veterans who are struggling that they too can make it through tough waters to the finish line.
He said that he has already put together a veteran rowing team for next year’s race.
“It’s our obligation now to keep going,” Knight said.