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NEWS | April 18, 2013

Off-duty Coast Guard members go 'Carting for a Cause'

By Airman 1st Class Kimberly Nagle 633rd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Off-duty U.S. Coast Guard members have set out on an adventure; one that involves "Carting for a Cause."

On April 29, these Service members began driving an electric-powered golf cart thousands of miles across more than 10 states, all in an effort to raise awareness for the Wounded Warrior Project.

This cross-country venture program, GO CARTS, was created by Ray Rehbereg, a current Coast Guard chief electricians mate. He and a group of other Service members will drive the cart, hoping their efforts will not only bring attention to, but also greatly benefit, the WWP through donations and awareness.

The WWP's mission is to honor and empower wounded warriors. They have a vision to foster the most successful, well-adjusted generation of wounded Service members in this nation's history.

The WWP was created to raise awareness and enlist the public's aid for the needs of injured Service members by providing unique inclusive programs to meet needs of veterans who incurred a physical or mental injury, illness or wound. The WWP also provides support to families of injured veteran's through their Family Support program, which includes individual resources, retreats and additional benefits.

"The Wounded Warrior Project is near and dear to all of our hearts, so our GO CARTS program shows our support for our brothers and sisters in service," said Rehberg. "It's veterans helping veterans."

The GO CARTS program is an interactive approach to raising money for the WWP. Rehberg hopes this unique idea will bring publicity to the cause of helping injured veterans, and make the GO CARTS goal attainable.

"The ultimate goal is to raise $50,000 for the Wounded Warrior Project, and make America aware of all of our veterans out there," said Rehberg.

The cart's route began at the Coast Guard Training Center in Petaluma, Calif., and is scheduled to end at the Coast Guard Training Center in Yorktown, Va., May 26. The team plans to stop at a number of places along the way, including Veterans of Foreign Wars posts, Disabled American Veterans chapters, American Legions and veterans hospitals.

The GO CART team will have a mobile command center and moving van to help support the cart along the way. The caravan will also include the team of volunteers and supplies for any cart repairs that may occur.

Rehberg said the success of this project will have a lasting impression on him.

"I've always held veterans with the highest respect and honor," said Rehberg. "With every chance I meet a veteran, I listen to their accounts of determination, and most importantly, their story. That is why I want to do this project," said Rehberg.