On Friday, six teams of veterans will travel 1,600 miles from Florida to New York City on Jet Skis to raise money and awareness for veterans and their families in an odyssey called the Never Quit Challenge.
One of the jet skis has been named in honor of fallen Edgewater Navy SEAL Special Warfare Operator 1st Class Patrick D. Feeks. Feeks was killed in Afghanistan last year, along with seven other Americans, when his helicopter crashed while fighting insurgents in a remote part of southern part of the country.
According to Feeks' family, he had wanted to be a Navy SEAL since he was 8 years old. They decided to participate in the NQC challenge to honor him and to pay tribute to his wounded brethren.
"In Patrick’s memory our family has joined with the Never Quit Challenge Event to benefit Patrick’s wounded Special Warfare brothers and the families of those killed in action," the Feeks' family wrote in a letter.
Lt JG Regina Feeks, Feeks' sister, is one of two women participating in the NQC. She'll be driving the last leg of the journey for team Dealer 54. Her Jet Ski, a Kawasaki Ultra LX, was dedicated by her mother Ginny Blevins Feeks and named in honor of S01 Patrick Feeks, according to the NQC website.
Regina Feeks will be carrying her brother's battle flag on her part of the journey, and return it to his widow, CTR1 Emily Feeks, when she completes the trek. Emily Feeks, an active duty Naval Warfare Officer, told Patch in an email that she dedicated her husband's flags to the team so she and Pat could be part of the journey. The flags will be carried all 1,600 miles. Patrick Feeks carried his battle flag with him every day of his deployment, and had it with him when he died, according to his family.
The NQC raises money for veterans and their families. The challenge is not open to the general public, but individuals and groups can offer financial support in a variety of ways. For more information, see the NQC website.