TAMPA, Fla. (FOX 13) - At the end of June, hundreds of athletes from around the world will be in Tampa for the Department of Defense Warrior Games. The Paralympic-style games are for wounded service members and veterans.
But before the games begin, retired Green Beret Jarrid “Jay” Collins is taking part in an impressive athletic display. He is crossing the country -- running, biking and hand cycling -- from Los Angeles to Tampa, where he will take part in the Warrior Games.
FOX 13 recently talked to Collins as he was about halfway through his “Breaking Bread Tour” in Texas.
“Physically I’m doing pretty good,” said Collins. “I've got a little muscle stiffness. Today's been a rough day. The wind's been in my face at about 25 mph all day long. Days like that my back hurts, my legs get a little beat up. But tomorrow I'll be fine. So far so good."
The tour is part of Collins’ new mission with Operation BBQ Relief. He is their director of non-disaster programs. The charitable organization provides meals to people displaced by natural disasters and other emergencies.
Operation BBQ Relief is following Collins on his tour, offering meals to first responders and the homeless along the way.
Also joining him are his wife Layla and their two sons.
“My wife’s a saint,” Collins continued. “She’s got our 7-year-old and 4-year-old with her coming across the country, wrapping up their school year via home school and coming in and serving at our events.”
Collins, who lost his leg after a combat injury in Afghanistan, knows people will notice him as he travels across the country. He says it gives him a unique opportunity.
“As a retired soldier and a retired Green Beret, I have the opportunity to push a mission of connecting people in communities, inspiring selfless service in others, and together let’s find a way to make things better.”
Collins is set to arrive in Tampa on June 16, five days before the Warrior Games begin.
Breaking Bread Tour: https://operationbbqrelief.org/alwaysservingproject/#bbt
Operation BBQ Relief: https://www.facebook.com/OpBBQRelief/