Military Charity to Ride into AJ's: Celebrate with Coast to Coast Ride for the Fallen

Savannah Vasquez
Cris Valley and Leo are riding coast to coast to raise money for fallen special forces soldiers.

Motorcycle riders for a good cause will soon be rolling into Destin and they are inviting you to celebrate with them at AJ’s Seafood and Oyster Bar.

Jason Buck and Cris Valley are active duty members of the United States Army Green Beret who are currently riding their motorcycles from California to Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia to honor their fallen comrades. The two are raising money during their Coast 2 Coast Ride For the Fallen to support private education for the children of special forces soldiers.

“One-hundred percent of the proceeds will go to provide scholarships to children of the special forces community to aid in their enrollment in private elementary schools,” said active duty Green Beret Chad Lawson. “Typically around military posts, we don’t have strong public schools so we wanted to provide their children with the opportunity for them to get the top educations in the nation.”

Destin was chosen as a stop in the ride in order to honor local fallen Green Beret Andrew McKenna.

“A bunch of us actually worked with a guy by the name of Andrew McKenna,” said Lawson. “When Andrew was killed this year it made sense to come through Destin. It (the celebration) is open to the public. We invite the civilian crowd in helping celebrate Andrew’s life and his parents will be in town as well.”

The Coast to Coast Ride for the Fallen celebration will begin at AJ’s at 6 p.m. Sept. 28, but local riders are invited to join in a meet-up in Crestview which will be held at Helen Back located at 5206 South Ferdon Blvd. at 4:30 p.m. The riders will then convoy to Destin for the evening festivities.

AJ’s will be adding to the celebration with a creative $10 per head donation special.

“There will be a $10 suggested donation at the door that includes a Miller Lite Keg until dry and drink specials all night,” said AJ’s Marketing Director Tracy McCraw. “Plus a special AJ’s winter preferred customer card that gets the bearer 20 percent off food items through February first, 2016.”

Activities for the event include live music, speeches to honor the fallen and a raffle.

“There will be several raffle items including a Glock pistol from Jimmy’s Gun and Pawn Shop that will be drawn for that night,” said McCraw. “They will be donating the Glock handgun to be raffled off with the proceeds staying in this community and going to a Green Beret’s family locally.”

For more information call 837-1913 or visit or