LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - A group of firefighters are making their way across East Texas this memorial weekend to show their support for those who have lost their lives in the line of duty.
Thirty four firefighters from across the country are riding their bicycles from Louisiana to Texas for their annual Brotherhood Ride.
They are only on day 3 of their 9 day journey and have only completed 36 miles out of the 750 they are set to ride.
This year they started in Plaquemine, Louisiana and are riding until they reach Houston.
They are riding to recognize and raise money for the families of the 19 firefighters who died in Texas this past year:
Lieutenant Gregory Pickard (Bryan) - last alarm 2/15/13
Lieutenant Eric Wallace (Bryan) - last alarm 2/15/13
Captain Kenneth Harris Jr. (West) - last alarm 4/17/13
Captain Doug Snokhous (West0 - last alarm 4/17/13
Firefighter Morris Bridges (West) – last alarm 4/17/13
Firefighter Perry Calvin (West) – last alarm 4/17/13
Firefighter Jerry Chapman (West) – last alarm 4/17/13
Firefighter Cody Dragoo (West) – last alarm 4/17/13
Firefighter Jimmy Matus (West) – last alarm 4/17/13
Firefighter Joey Pustejovsky (West) – last alarm 4/17/13
Firefighter Cyrus Reed (West) – last alarm 4/17/13
Firefighter Kevin Sanders (West) – last alarm 4/17/13
Firefighter Buck Uptmor (West) – last alarm 4/17/13
Firefighter Stanley Wilson (Dallas) – last alarm 5/20/13
Captain Matthew Renaud (Houston) – last alarm 5/31/13
Engineer Operator Robert Bebee (Houston) – last alarm 5/31/13
Firefighter Robert Garner (Houston) – last alarm 5/31/13
Firefighter Anne Sullivan (Houston) – last alarm 5/31/13
"We will be visiting Dallas where they lost 1, we will be visiting West Texas where they lost 12 in the plant explosion, visiting Bryan where they lost two, and we will end in Houston where they lost four fire fighters unfortunately," said Brotherhood Ride Founder, Jeff Morse.
It's more than just recognizing those fire fighters who died it Texas; it's about letting the families of every service man and woman, who has ever lost their life in the line of duty, know that they will never be forgotten.
"Line of duty death no matter where it is in the state of Texas or anywhere in the 50 states is near and dear to the fire service," said Houston Firefighter Robert Branch.
Retired Boston Firefighter, Manny Arruda, says it's really about the families.
"It is a wonderful way to let the families know that their loved ones are not forgotten," said Arruda.
The Brotherhood ride was originally started back in 2007, when 9 Charleston Florida firefighters lost their life in a warehouse fire.
"That next morning I went back to my fire station and said I want to show in some way to the families that we haven't forgotten what happened that day," said Morse.
Morse also said that through the past 7 years the Brotherhood Ride has grown into something much more.
"Seeing the faces of the loved ones that have been left behind that I have seen in the three years I have been involved has been wonderful. To see how much they appreciate us doing this," said Arruda.
The Brotherhood Ride organization has traveled more than three thousand miles through 14 different states and has raised a little over a hundred thousand dollars.
Here is their 2014 ride schedule:
Day1: May 22nd- Eunice, LA
Day 2: May 23rd- Jasper, TX
Day 3: May 24th- Alto, TX
Day 4: May 25th- Tyler, TX
Day 5: May 26th- Dallas, TX
Day 6: May 27th- West, TX
Day 7: May 28th - Bryan, TX
Day 8: May 29th - Magnolia, TX
Day 9: May 30th - Houston, TX
If you would like to join the Brotherhood ride or donate to their cause you can visit their web site.