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Gracie News

Local Iraq Vet Skateboarding 900-miles for charity

May 31, 2013

Gracie Academy Purple Belt Seeks to Inspire and Empower Vets

Andrew Goldsmith (Gracie Academy Purple Belt) and Bob Harington served together during two combat tours in Iraq. They survived roadside bombs, rocket attacks, and unending heat and boredom, and now they hope to conquer a 900-mile skateboard trek along the entire coast of California for a great cause!

On June 1st, Andrew and Bob will leave Brookings, Oregon and head south along the California coast to begin the Veteran Skate Trek -- a 900-mile, long distance skateboarding journey -- to raise charitable donations for the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA). They will be traveling an average of 35 miles a day, for almost 40 days in order to complete their 900-mile journey. Along the way they will be documenting the Veteran Skate Trek through social media and spreading their message, "The Mission Isn't Over" to empower veterans and encourage community involvement in veteran-related issues.

The IAVA is the nation's first and largest non-profit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to bettering the lives of veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan and their families. The IAVA has over 250,000 member veterans and offers a range of programs in the areas of health, education, employment, and community.

Veteran Skate Trek is receiving donations for the IAVA through their page at:

They will also be holding an online auction with gear, clothing, and artwork donated from generous sponsors and local artists from June 1-9. 100% of the proceeds will go to the IAVA. For more information you can visit their Facebook page by clicking here.