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Man, small dog on journey to benefit kids of fallen military members

Cross-country fundraiser stops in San Antonio

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SAN ANTONIO – Adam Sandoval and his 6-year-old Chihuahua, Scooter, made a stop in San Antonio Thursday on their trip back and forth across the country in a solo fundraising effort for the American Legion Legacy Scholarship.

The scholarship supports children of service men and women killed during active duty since Sept. 11, 2001. 

Sandoval never served in the military, but both of his grandfathers served in World War II.

"In my teens, and 20s I lost focus on what really matters and now I regret it," said Sandoval, atop his Harley-Davidson motorcycle at VFW Post 76 in San Antonio. "So I said I'm going to dedicate a year of my life to giving back to those men, and women who had their stuff in order and actually served."

Sandoval began planning out his trip during a family reunion on July 4 and kicked off the trip Nov. 10, the birthday of the Marine Corps. He plans to crisscross the country six times during his trip.

"It's been better than I could have imagined and people have been so open to me," he said after already logging over 6,000 miles. "Everybody I see, they all want to help me, they all want to give me a place to stay because I don't do hotels."

Sandoval said his goal is to give every dollar he raises directly to the scholarship fund. He's also received support along the way, including multiple Harley dealerships that have helped out with maintenance. His father helps plan out the logistical aspects of the trip, and a friend helps with the social media and online aspect. 

Sandoval has a website where you can track his progress, as well as a Facebook page with pictures from his many stops. And alongside him the whole way is Scooter, a Chihuahua he rescued six years ago.

"He's really calm when he's riding and I've got a wired electric blanket for when it's cold," he said. "If I tell him, 'Hey, let's ride,' he'll jump up and get on the bike. He can't wait to get on the road."

They both have a long way to go. Sandoval estimates they'll cover over 50,000 miles when the trip is done. They raised close to $5,000 during the first three weeks of the trip, which was originally scheduled to end next Nov. 10, an end date Sandoval admits has become fluid.

"If I'm behind schedule, if I spend a little more time at a dealership or I spend an extra night with some veterans I ran into because I want to hear their stories or whatever, I'll do that," he said. "It's not a deadline, it's a target. If I have to ride an extra two months to complete the trip then I'll ride two months. For me it's more about completing the trip."