Navy veteran rides bike across country for Creativet organization

As a Navy veteran himself, Crifasi said this program can be powerful. (Photo courtesy: HOI/ABC)

By Heart of Illinois ABC

BLOOMINGTON – One man is making a cross country journey on two wheels for veterans.

Our News partner, Heart of Illinois ABC, met up with Christian Crifasi in Bloomington while he was making his way to New York from California.

“Once you get the humidity of the Midwest, I didn’t think it’d be that bad. I’m from the South originally and I’m used to the humidity but once I crossed into Missouri it hit me like a wall. It’s been rough,” said Crifasi.

2,400 miles down, but another thousand or so to go for Christian Crifasi.

He’s biking across the United States for Creativet, an organization focused on healing hidden wounds of soldiers.

“Creativet is an organization that actually works with wounded veterans to heal through the arts and music,” said Crifasi.

As a Navy veteran himself, Crifasi said this program can be powerful.

“The impact of time and service and what it does to individuals and their families, this organization hit home and it’s what I want to support.”

COVID-19 has created donation and awareness challenges for the organization.

So ditching the traditional styles of fundraising, Crifasi hit the pavement.

“That’s one of the best things about the trip, talking to people along the way. They see the jersey, they ask why I’m riding. Just spreading that word since they are doing things live on Facebook is a great opportunity for people to reach out remotely,” said Crifasi.

Three months of biking and navigating city after city might not be for everyone.

Crifasi doesn’t regret a single pedal.


Labor Day – Expanding voting rights for all

By Mike Matejka Because of COVID, there is no Labor Day Parade this year.  It’s always a great event for our everyday workers to march proudly down the street and enjoys the festive crowd. If there had been a parade, this year’s Labor Day theme was to be “150 years of struggle: your right to vote.” …

Is federal mobilization the answer?

By Mike Matejka As President Donald Trump threatens to send federal marshals into Chicago, over the objections of Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker, recall another Illinois Governor who protested the incursion of armed federal personnel into the city.   Those federal troops, rather than calming, escalated the situation, leading to deaths and violence. Illinois poet Vachel Lindsay…

In these troubled times, to my fellow white Americans

By Mike Matejka Our nation is at a unique watershed in human relations. African-Americans have been killed too many times in the past before George Floyd, but the response to this man’s death is international and all-encompassing. I was a grade-schooler during the Civil Rights 1960s. I watched Birmingham demonstrators hosed and the Selma – Montgomery…

Workers’ Memorial Day – Remember those whose job took their life

Looking around our community, when we say employer, most will respond to State Farm, Country, or Illinois State University.   We too often forget those who are building our roads, serving our food, or our public employees. COVID-19 has made us more aware of the risk.  Going to work every day for some people means…