'Khost to Coast' fundraiser for CIA families gets a boost
Former President George H.W. Bush is giving a symbolic boost to a coast-to-coast bicycle ride intended to raise money for families of CIA officers and contractors killed in last December's suicide attack at an agency base in Khost, Afghanistan. Bush, who was CIA director in the 1970s, lauded the effort in a letter timed to coincide with Saturday's formal launch of the 3,200-mile ride, which Bush said would raise "understanding and support for those who have given so much and ask for so little."
The ride was organized by a retired CIA officer, Rob Richer, of Centreville, Va., who initially envisioned making the trip with only his wife, Kim, pedaling beside him. But in recent weeks, relatives of at least three of the slain officers have signed up for parts of the trip, along with a small army of other agency and military veterans. Police officers on bikes will escort the riders in each of the eight states crossed during the seven-week journey, which will begin in Jacksonville, Fla., and end at the Pacific Ocean in San Diego, Calif..
The money raised will go to the CIA Officers Memorial Foundation, which helps pay for schooling and other critical needs of family members of intelligence operatives killed while on duty. Five CIA officers and two contractors were killed Dec. 30 by an informant who blew himself up after promising to deliver information about al-Qaeda's No. 2 commander, Ayman al-Zawahiri. It was the deadliest single attack on the CIA in 25 years.
| September 10, 2010; 2:44 PM ET
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