Combat Vet, Cyclist in '2 Shining Seas' to be at IEBA Film Fest World Premier

Kevin Sullivan served three Iraq tours with the U.S. Air Force and flew more than 400 combat sorties before he was diagnosed with severe PTSD. In 2010 he took part in a veterans' coast-to-coast ride across America.

A combat veteran who served three tours in Iraq, endured severe PTSD, and bicycled coast-to-coast across America will be at the world premier of a documentary film about the ride at next weekend's Inland Empire Biking Alliance Film Fest in Redlands.

Kevin Sullivan, 35, served with the U.S. Air Force and flew more than 400 combat sorties over Iraq, Afghanistan and the Horn of Africa before he was diagnosed with severe PTSD in 2007, according to his "Sea to Shining Sea" bio page.

"He's coming from North Carolina to do the community ride on Saturday, and he'll be at the world premier of the film," IE Biking Alliance executive director Mark Friis said Wednesday in a phone interview.

The Inland Empire Biking Alliance Film Fest 2012, billed as the first of its kind for the region, is scheduled Oct. 12 to Oct. 14 at the Fox Event Center in Redlands.

Short films and features will focus on multiple forms of bicycling, including road, mountain and BMX, Friis said.

According to his bio, Sullivan was working in corporate finance in Boston in 2000 when he had a life-changing experience.

"During a Tall Ships exhibition, he saw a soldier from another nation salute an American solider. He was so moved that he left the corporate world and joined the U.S. Air Force," according to Sea to Shining Sea.

Sullivan took a similar chance, trusting his faith, when he decided to ride in the 2010 coast-to-coast event.

"I had been quietly living with anxiety/PTSD for years," Sullivan said. "I haven't discussed it with anyone, except my wife and parents. The truth is that I felt ashamed for being diagnosed with a disorder and guilty for not being able to continue my military career."

Before his medical release in 2007, Sullivan had an outstanding military record.

To read more about Sullivan and the challenges he's faced, click here. The documentary film about Sullivan's ride with other veterans is titled "Two Shining Seas."

The three-day Film Fest includes a free community ride on Saturday Oct. 13 with food afterwards at Sylvan Park, Friis said.

Film Fest ticket prices range from $10 for youth and veterans to attend individual screenings to $35 for a three-day pass. All proceeds go to local bicycle non-profits.

The festival format includes three-hour shows, with each first hour containing short films then a break before the feature films, Friis said.

Food and drink, including beer, will be available, Friis said. The schedule at Fox Event Center includes:

6 p.m. Friday Oct. 12

Short films about MTB and BMX. Feature film "Reveal the Path"

6 p.m. Saturday Oct. 13

Mixed short films of bicycling. Feature film "Two Shining Seas"

3 p.m. Sunday Oct. 14

Mixed short films of bicycling. Feature film "Two Shining Seas"

6:30 p.m. Sunday Oct. 14

Short films about road biking and more. Feature film "Road to Roubaix"

For more info and to purchase tickets, follow this link to the full event schedule.

All tickets can also be purchased here or at local bike shops.

Event sponsors include Metrolink, Cyclery USA, Jenson USA, Don's Bicycles, Coates Cyclery, InCycle Bicycles and Yucaipa Bike Center.

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