SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) – A friend of fallen firefighter, Cory Iverson, just finished a cross-country memorial bike ride in his honor. Iverson was a Cal Fire firefighter who died battling the 2017 Thomas Fire in Ventura County.

Thomas Pitman organized Ride Into the Light - a cross-country memorial bike ride - in memory of Cory's passion and drive in life. Pitman started in Imperial Beach, California on January 1st, 2019 and finished February 5th, 2019 in Jacksonville Beach, Florida .

The trip across the country took Pittman 36 days to complete - cycling by himself and with just the supplies he packed. “My goal was to raise awareness of PTSD in first responders.”

Iverson’s widow, Ashley Iverson, created a non-profit foundation in his honor called, Iverson Foundation for Active Awareness. Its purpose is to bring light to the dark reality that many firefighters and first responders face daily – post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

RELATED STORY: Cory Iverson's widow, Ashley Iverson, shares her story with News 8

“Part of the dynamic of our job is to suppress our feelings in the moment to function. But after-the-fact is where we need to start talking about it. We need to start doing our stress debriefing and our after action reports and say, 'Are you okay with this?' If not, come talk to me or come talk to somebody who can help you,” said Pitman. 

Pittman’s ride was just under 2,500 miles. His goal was to raise one dollar per mile for the foundation. Pittman biked well beyond his initial goal and raised $12,000.

Every mile, every peddle and every flat tire was in honor of his late friend and colleague.

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