For the last few weeks, WTOC has taken you on Wally Willig's journey. The 66-year-old diabetic and his childhood friend Lester Miller have been riding their bikes coast to coast to raise money for charity. After a grueling last few weeks, Wally arrived in town yesterday afternoon.
It's been a long 50 days. Wally and Lester have peddled more than 3,200 miles all leading up to friends, family and local law enforcement agencies welcoming the two men on Wilmington Island Sunday afternoon.
With a police escort, they rode the last few miles with Wally and Lester down Highway 80 to the finishing point at the Tybee Island pier. Wally described the homecoming as a "tremendously emotional experience."
With the motto "From Sea to Shining Sea," Wally and Lester started their journey from San Diego, California, on September 11. Since then they've changed almost a dozen flat tires, went through a pair of gloves and a bike seat all to raise money for the Coastal Empire 200 Club, an organization that helps fallen police and firefighters' families.
Families like that of Denise Groover, who lost her husband, a probation officer, just this past July. "When you are faced with death, you are so upset emotionally that you don't think about things in the long run," she told us.
Things Denise says the 200 Club helped her family with. Things Wally says were the inspiration that kept him going the last few weeks. "It's keeping with the purpose of the 200 Club," he said.
With a hero's welcome at the pier, both Wally and Lester ended their seven-week journey across America by dipping their bikes into the Atlantic Ocean, proving to many that true heroes still exist, despite what Wally may say."It makes you humble. They've sacrificed so much. I just peddled across the country. You cant compare the two."