I had a really neat encounter today which is worth sharing/documenting. Yesterday my mother in law called to tell me about a West Point grad and veteran who is hiking one kilometer for every single man and woman killed during the Global War on Terror. His name is Mike and he is doing this to not only honor the fallen, but to raise funds for his charity, Legacies Alive which helps Gold Star Families honor their fallen family member. Legacies Alive helps honor the fallen through support, recognition, memorial funding and dedication, etc.
Mike's journey started in Washington state where he travelled down the west coast to southern California before making the long trek east, all by foot. When my mother in law called, she let me know that Mike was recently in Savannah, just having arrived at the Atlantic ocean and she was hoping if he hadn't left yet, I would be able to link up with him and pass along one of Daren's KIA bracelets. So I got in contact with him and was able to meet up today as he left Savannah heading north to South Carolina.
I had hoped to join him for a mile or two, but the highway he was walking along wasn't exactly stroller friendly, so the kids and I just stopped to visit for a bit instead. Mike was walking with two Gold Star family members who ended up being the parents of a classmate of mine, Sara Cullen, who was killed in a helicopter crash last year. It was special getting to meet them as well.
Mike graciously accepted Daren's bracelet stating he would be honored to wear it for the reminder of his hike which will end in Baltimore at next month's Army Navy game. He also let me add Daren's name to the American flag he carries with him which by the end of his hike will list every single fallen Soldiers name.
If you would like more information about his journey or how to help, please visit his website Mike's Hiking for Heroes or his Facebook page.
I am so glad I got to meet Mike, and so grateful he is helping to honor Daren and all of the fallen.