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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Mississippi's Finest...

Since I have arrived in Miss the good people of the state have yet to stop caring for me. In so many ways the people of the cities that I have walked thru have gone to great lengths to find me and support the cause. I met a man that has a wonderful talent in carving wood into beautiful objects with his chainsaw. He lives in Sturgis Ms and is currently carving an Indian chiefs head for an Indian chief in South Dakota. You should have seen the beautiful creations he made from a chainsaw. I also had some of the best fried catfish in Sturgis as well. A lil diner on main street. There were two ladies inside that were eating as well and they invites me to sit with them and I did. It was pleasant company and I was happily surprised to find that a man I had spoken with inside the diner paid for my meal as he was leaving. There gave been so many instances like that that I truly can't remember them all. That's a good problem to have. Yesterday I spoke to a radio station in Iowa and recorded an interview that will play on air this Tuesday. It was for the United We Roll section. I thought the interview wet well and I was excited to be able to reach more of the Amerucan people in the heartland. Let me just saw that there are some interesting sounds in the miss night. I hear all kinds of interesting sounds outside my tent at night. Makes you wonder what's creeping around at night.....
Like I said, many people stopped to check on me yesterday and several times people bought me food and water. I met a Mississippi National Guardsman that just came back from Iraq. He hooked me up with about a Gallon of powerade and a bunch of bananas. I spent the night in the pine forest last night. I'll saythat there isn't much place where the ground is dry in miss. Had to walk for a bit to find something suitable.
Let me tell ya about these Miss'sip folks I met today. It was mid morning and I plopped down for a break outside this house in the middle of nowhere. I see a few people walk outside a minute later and one yells out to me.. Hey! Are you turkey hunting?!... I wasn't turkey hunting. I walked a lil closer and he yells again.. Are you walking to Cali? I smiled and said yes I was that guy. Thank God for the media prescence here in Miss. Well I walked on over and met a few people and I was offered a few bologna sandwiches which I took happily since I was hungry and lunch was closing in. After a while of talking about some good ol boy stuff they offered to take me into town and buy me lunch. Like I said, I was hungry and it was Mexican food, I can't tuen down salsa and guacamole. So I hoped in. Anyways, I ended up eating with this group of 5 guys and 2 girls from the area and let me tell you they will keep te good times rolling. There wasn't a dull moment with this bunch and I certainly laughed
Ore today than I have in a while. Thanks alot y'all. I enjoyed the lunch and the company.
After looking at the map it seems im in for a long haul over the next few days. It's 22 plus miles to anywhere it seems. Gonna have to pack heavy and walk hard. And then it's another 25 plus miles after that so I'm gonna have to suck it up. Anyways, I'll make it. It's getting late and I have a long day tomorrow. Goodnight

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Enroute to Jackson...

I apologize for my absence these past few days. I have had several great experiences which I will share with you. A few days ago I crossed into Ms and it's been good to me since I arrived. I hadn't been over the state line more than 30 mins when a cameraman with a local news channel pulled up and questioned me as to whether i was the guy walking across the US an I said yes. I let him drive me to a gas station within eyesight so I could grab a much needed cold drink. After my Gatorade he took video of me walking down the road and he was off to work his craft with the video for the news that evening. I was having some blister trouble at this point and it was slowing me down considerably so I found some woods outside Colombus and set up tent forthe night. I wasn't a happy camper as my feet hurt and I really wanted to be on the west side of colombus by nightfall. I was grumbling and complaining but it was all for a purpose as you will read. So I went to sleep.
I wake up somewhat late and just after I wakeup I get a phonecall from a lady who is an Army vet. Seems she saw me from the news that evening before and wanted to buy my breakfast. I told her my location and she showed up but not exactly byherself. She had called a reporter from the Commercial Dispatch and had her show as well and we all went to BF to eat and hear the Trek story and it's cause. After BF the lady that took me to eat offered to see if her husband could give me a tour of the helicopter plant he worked at. He said he would and so she drove me over there. He was a smart guy and well versed in his company. He gave me a guided tour of the plant and he took several pictures of me as well in the build area. Alot of the inner workings of the area are secret so details can't be discussed as to what is being built exactly but it's a chopper that the military will use for various purposes such as medevac. After the tour he graciously took me to lunch an then to several stores so that I could get the supplies I needed. After all that he drove a short distance to my friend Jonathons house. Jonathon and I went to combat medic school together in the army and we have kept in touch here an there over the years. He is in the ROTC program at MSU as well as playing Safety for the MSU Bulldogs football team. I stayed with his family at their awesome country abode. They were all so very gracious and compassionate toward myself that I didn't know how to act halberd time. There are 13 kids in the Phillips household and currently 10 of them still live at home. It's amazing to see such a big family work so well together to accomplish the days task.
Yesterday I had the opportunity to relax my feet and let the blisters heal up some. I also went to MSU with Jonathons father Randy and we spent some time going to alot of the different departments passing out cards and spreading the Trek. I was also able to land an on air spot with 91.1 which is the campus radio station. They were great atthe station and the station manager happens to be the uncle of a young lady that is a reporter from te Starkville Daily News. She met with Jonathon and I at Cappy's which is a local restaurant for lunch. She had two young ladies from the high school with her for career day. We had a great meeting and the finished product which I saw today was very well done. Huge thanks to all the media in the area for picking this up and running with it. With all the negativity that could be reported it's great to see something positive take precedence.
So last night I was able to take a few minutes and speak at the campus crusade meeting at MSU. I was able to tell a fairly large number of students about the Trek and we all know that college are broke so while there went huge donations per se there was a lot of cards passed out and I believe a great outcome will happen. Thanks to the two students who dug deep. You in the bathroom and you by the stairs. Thank you.
Today I woke up and headed into MSU with Jonathon. I was contacted by a 20th Special Forces Group soldier last night an he wanted to walk with me for a while today. We met on campus and low and behold, Wcbi the tv station showed up to cover the story again. This the same station that found me 30 minutes into my arrival in Mississppi. They interviewed both of us for a bit and then followed us all the way thru town pretty much. Itvwas great to once again seethe news media show up in support.
My new walking buddy which we will call "B" walked around 14 mules for the cause today. We had a great talk about anything and everything. It's always great to have fellow warriors walk with me. Thanks "B".
I made it to around Sturgis tonight and I'm headed to Jackson. From there I will head to Vicksburg and then move into Louisiana from there. I'm looking forward to more great experiences out here on the road. Jonathon brought me Zaxbys tonight out here in the woods and a few other goodies. I can't thank him enough for helping me out and for his friendship.
Well that's gonna do it for to iffy. Goodnight...

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Closing in on Miss'sip!

Today has been a long day. Even though I started late at around 9am it just seemed to be a long haul. I have noticed that as the sun bears down hotter upon me it becomes harder to push myself up the hills. I am also consuming much more water than when it was cold but that's to be expected. On the west side of Bama stores are a tad farther apart do that means I must carry more supplies just in case although that equals a heavier bag. I'm actually sweating in my tent right now and the sun is almost down.
Anyways, I met a Special Forces soldier today. He saw me on the news and when he spotted me roadside he stopped to say thanks and make sure I had enough supplies. He was overly grateful to me for what I was doing and I guess ibwas a bit taken aback that an operative would be that grateful to me for walking across country for their foundation. I could understand a level of high respect and gratitude but then I noticed his daughter in the car and I realized he was grateful because I was walking for her. He knew te foundation and what it stands for so he knew also that if anything happened to him that SOWF would step up to the plate for her awns that's why he was so thankful. It made sense from the Father point of view. I know I would feel the same way if the roles were reversed. "C", you are most welcome and I consider it an honor to walk on behalf of the Spec Ops community.

Yesterday I was in tuscaloosa and went sight seeing around the university of Alabama. I took several pics of the stadium and the school so check out FB to see them. I met a guy at Firehouse Subs that writes for a school paper and he said he wanted to do a story on the Trek an would be giving me a call. I hope he does.
I also stopped off at a Marine Corp officer recruiting station and passed out some cards. They all seemed impressed by what I was doing. They were a bunch of great guys.... At least for Marines! JK!
That's about it for these past few days. I need more local media attention. That's what seems to help in the cities the most. HLN has been doing an awesome job of promoting the Trek and the cause. Make sure you send a email or call them to say thank you. They have been featuring the Trek on the morning shoe with Robin Meade and on the Cross Country segment.
Well, it's Tent night as I said. I'm off to dreamland in a few. Take care and goodnight.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Camping. Dogs are annoying.

Yes. Dogs that bark incessantly are annoying. It's happening right now. I'm in the woods and two dogs are going back and forth in the distance. Anyways, not much to tell about today except for meeting several great people. That's something right?! Several people looked out for me today with a little pocket change and it was appreciated. I'm close to Tuscaloosa, home of the Roll Tide, so I'm gonna stop and take pics of the university when I make it in town.

I set up a paypal acct tonight. Several ppl have expressed interest in using that route to donate to the cause so if that's you then please feel free to donate as you see fit. The email I used is I'm told that's what you'll need to have in order to donate. So there you have it.... More miles down... U of A is next and then on to MSU in Mississippi.
And that's it for tonight...

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Living the high life in the Hampton!

I left my motel room this morning and hit up the continental breakfast for some coffee and pastries. Breakfast of champions! As I was leaving one of the employees recognized me from tv and came out for pics. We grabbed a few photos and I was off. I had to walk 1.4 miles in the wrong direction to a Post Office that I was expecting a package from SOWF to arrive at. It didn't arrive. So, I worked out a plan with the PO to get it to me should it arrive in the morning. Hopefully it does so I can have those items to pass out at some point. So I'm in a hotel waiting.
I met many people today. Alot of people stopped me because they recognized me from the tv. The media support has certainly helped out and I'm grateful for it. An airforce vet bought me lunch today and I ate with him and his neighbors. It was great having company for lunch and we had intelligent conversation which if you have never trekked the US alone you wouldn't really appreciate that small detail of life as much as I did today. You can only be so smart when you talk to yourself and after a while you feel a bit loony. Maybe it's just me.
Two wonderful ladies at the Army Navy surplus store helped me with a few items today and with some extra lunch money as well.
I spoke with the wife of Bessemer's former Mayor also. She had a nice car :)
Tmobile employees helped out today also. They saw me walking by and called the BBQ place I was eating at and had me come back sorbet could say thanks and give a donation. If you live near Bessemer Alabama go eat at Bob Sykes BBq. Great food and great portions. I couldn't finish it all.
So that's about it. Also thanks to the young lady from Aarons rent a center.
Yeah, that's about it. One more thing... If you have my number then it won't be turned back on till tomorrow. It's being ported from ATT to verizon so it may be lunch tomorrow before it works. Just an FYI. Ok ppl, I'm done for the night. Goodnight.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Southwest of Birmingham.

I slept by a creek last night and it was a peaceful sleep. Flowing water 10 feet from your tent has a way of putting most people to sleep I'm sure. So I woke up and packed my gear and headed off to Irondale. I slept just outside the city limits so I walked towards the downtown area and as I was walking a man on a motorcycle stopped to talk with me. His name was Lou and he was a Patriot Guard rider. I gave him my card and we took a couple of pics and he went about his way. He emailed me later and said he passed my info to a high level PGR member so that they could watch out for me intheir areas an provide support as they are able.
I made it into Irondale and at the suggestion of a FB follower I found the Irondale Cafe which is where they supposedly shot the movie Fried Green Tomatoes. Right before I went in to eat a man named Bubba found me and stopped to shake hands. He had seen me on tv and wanted to say thanks. He did and we parted ways. While I was inline getting my food he appeared again an wanted to eat with me so I said I would enjoy the company. Also, several senior citizens of the female persuasion were in the bathroom line and they read the sign on my bag. Well they were instantly impressed and it became picture time. So a few pics later and I was eating. The food was excellent and I only wish I could have eaten more.
Several members from United Airlines Retirees were eating there also and they had seen me on tv as well. They came over to greet me and say thanks.
So after eating I stopped by Bubbas shop just down theride to load up on some water. After that I headed to Birmingham. Once I got to Birmingham Michael Miller from Alabamas News 13 found me and performed a great interview with me roadside. It should be on tonight sometime an I was told they may be able to link the story on FB.
So now I'm in a hotel for tonight and I'm finally dry. It rained on me for my last 4 miles. I need to go wash some clothes here in a sec. Let me say that I had a horrible time navigating birminghams roads. GPS and reality were a bit different at times. Anywys, I made it. So I hope you all have a great night and I'll try to get you guys an update for tomorrow. Goodnight

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Camping by a creek.

Well, I woke up in the motel the next morning and packed up for the day. It was a nice room actually and very homey feeling. I was kinda sad to leave it but I had to move on. I met the manager downstairs and he poured me a huge cup of coffee to go and we talked for a bit and I was off. I headed west towards Riverside and when I got there found that te creeks around the area had flooded the surrounding area. At one spot on 78 the road was covered by several inches of water but the Alabama DOT guys were kind enough to drive me through it to the otherside. I posted plenty of pics on FB for everyone to see.
I made it to Pell City. Two ladies stopped me and asked if I was the guy on tv and I said yes so we took pics for FB an I headed downthe road. Not to much to say about P City.
I walked into Eden and found Fox's Pizza. I ended up getting there around 2 or so and hanging out. It was a great time. I was feed several times for free and everyone of the people that worked there offered some contribution to the cause. I also met several great people that were eating inside as well and I was able to share the Trek with them. During my stay at FP John found me there. A relative of his follows the trek and I was connected to John so I would have a place to stay. John and his wife and three kids were great and I really appreciate their generosity. John manages the Leeds Chic Fil A and he promised me a dinner once I got there that night. He also said he may have me a place to stay that night as well. So the next day struck out headed to Leeds. At this point I am talkin about yesterday the 12th. So I head on to Leeds and have a pretty good day. At one point the road merges into I 20 and in order for me to follow a road other than the interstate I would end up going many miles out of my way so I hit the woods next to 20 for a few miles. It was slow going since it was soggy ground and a steep incline but I made it and saved mileage and time. as I was halfway to my destination an gentleman found me and offered me a lunch. I was hungry so I said sure. He took me to the Golden Rule BBQ and fed me well. Gotta love the south and it's BBQ. He was a kind man and very supportive. I headed out again and made it to my marker. I arrived at Chic FA in the evening after dark and scarfed down my free dinner. Thanks John! I stopped to grab pics with all the employees thT I could and while I was in there I made a new friend. Ms Scarlett. She was about 5 years old and just the cutest thing ever. She made many questions for me and we talked for a while about all kinds of things. She was well spoken for a young girl.
So this brings me to Kevin. I was told that John secured me a place to stay with his co worker Kevin and that he was on the way to get me. I had no idea what I was in for. So Kevin bursts thru the door with a larger than life personality and walks right up to me and introduces himself and I just so happened to have a bite of food in my mouth so I resorted to sign language nods and blinks for instant communication. Anyways, we meet an I can tell he is afflicted. ADD is his friend and they hang out together. Alot. So Kevin and I loaf up in the car and head to his house. He has a beautiful home and his kids are at the door of said home waiting to pounce. I make it inside an I meet his wife Lauren and all the three boys. They turn out to be lively kids an instantly friendly. So we talk a little bit about various things and I jump in te shower to get clean. Kevins neighbor comes over with a blow up air matress for me. We will refer to him as codename "Anderton". Anderton begins to blow up this air mattress with his wides hairdryer and the rubber section of a breast pump that happens to make contact with the nipple area. Yeah, I know. So he proceeds to blow this thing up while we all sit on the couch and shame him. If he hadn't been a great sport with a great sense of humor it may well have been cruel. So Anderton finally finishes and says goodnight. The rest of us end up hitting the hay soon thereafter.
I get up kinda early and go with Kevin to grab Hardees and then off to his church. It was missions week there and he wanted meto go since he felt like I am a missionary of sorts and it would be good PR. I went and it was a great time. I met many people and the church itself gave a donation to the Foundation and I passed out several cards and shook many hands. Springville Church was a very friendly and generous church and thanks to them for allowing me to be a part off their service. While church was going on Rob Marshall drove by to see me. Rob and a crew called USAF7 are raising funds for SOWF as well by climbing the 7 tallest mountains in the world. It was great to meet him. It's inspiring and motivating to meet other people on the same Kim of mission. Robs pic is on FB.
After church KeV and the fam along with a family friend Erica went to a BBQ joint and pigged out. It was sooo good but once he dropped me off roseate walking again today I quickly realized that I did not wanna move. I holed up in the woods for about an hour to digest and then I struck out. I'm now between Leesa and Irondale for the night. I'll break camp early and make it to Bham tomorrow sometime in the afternoon. Look for more pics an updates on FB. I'm out. Goodnight.

It's coming...

Hold on folks! I'll have a new post up tonight.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Lincoln Alabama

Thanks to a Recon Marine and two new friends, I'm in a motel room for the night. According to him, he passed me twice today and on the third pass he finally stopped. He said he saw me on tv and wasn't sure at first that I was the guy on tv but he finally stopped and checked to see if it was me and of course it was. He and his friend called a third person and between all of them they worked out the logistics of where to get a room, buying the room and transportation to the room along with lunch money for tomorrow. You have to really appreciate the lengths our military will go to protect their own. Certainly there is an unspoken bond between those of us that have served. These days we certainly enjoy the privileges that come with the exceptionalism of America. I do see that we often times forget the burden that is ours because of this honor. We are a nation that stands heads and shoulders above the rest and we should never apologize nor feel ashamed of our position in the world. We must remember that our military has shouldered the burden to keep what our founding fathers created many years ago so let us not forget our brave men and women that bear our beautiful Flag on their glorious uniforms.
Early this morning I met a great family in Chic Fil A as I was eating breakfast. They were very interested in the cause and I was able to explain the Trek and the Foundation. Shortly after meeting them a man came over to say his thanks as he overhead my obviously loud voice.
Several times today people stopped me to offer me food and it always seemed to be at that perfect moment. I am in Alabama and still I suffer not. I met two great people that worked at the Anniston Army Depot and they took pics with me and provided some encouraging words.
Let me also say that today was a miserable day. I did not enjoy the weather at all and it taught me to enjoy every moment inside a warm dry building. All day today the wind whipped my face and pushed my body around. I was told that tree were wind gusts up to 30 mph today and I believe that. At times it was hard to even take a step forward. I dis not want to be out today and honestly all day I felt under the weather. U just felt sluggish and heavy. Not really in the game so to speak. Well, by the grace of God I made it to the end of today so let's look towards tomorrow and expect great things. I'm off to bed. Goodnight.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Layin low in Alabama.

So its 8pm here in Oxford Alabama and the rain has stopped. My plan is to head out early tomorrow morning. I didn't really do much today since the weather didn't permit me to get out and about but I did meet a few people at Firehouse Subs. I went to walmart and walked around for a while and came back to the room and watched a few movies. That's the exciting parts of today.
I made it to the motel last night around 8 and the rain was just beginning. I sat at the Starbucks inside of a Target store for a while watching the weather yesterday afternoon. I ultimately decided I would walk aways and tempt my fate.
There isn't a whole lot to say for the past two days. Just that I met a few enjoyable people and I have enjoyed the rest day today. Looking forward to tomorrow and eventually Birmingham. Hopefully I will have an exciting update for you next time.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Talladega Night.....

Well, a bad thing happened. Mostly by accident and from me not paying attention. I crossed thru Waco Ga last night and was a few miles on the west side headed to Tallapoosa when a young lady stopped me and asked me if I was Troy. I said no I'm the other guy. Troy Yocum walks across America so for military families though we are not affiliated and our charities are not working together, at least not on our respective walks. Anyways, sobi told her about me and the cause and she offered a couch for the night. I accepted without hesitation since it was cold and getting colder but I didn't ask where it was. Turns out is was right next to the Albama line. So yeah, I skipped a few miles on accident. She wasn't gonna take me back since she works in Alabama. I'll do better next time. I was actually motto far from the Tank. If any of you know where the park with the army tank out front is then I was around the corner from that. It turns out that she and her husband have a horse ranch on around 80 acres and they run a camp that uses the horses to help physically, behaviorally and mentally challenged kids. Not only that but they also are in the process of adopting several teenage children. This is an awesome family and I am honored to have stayed in their home. If you want to find out more about them check out... Rachel's Wish Foudation 770-574-8104 Buddy or Sandra.
For the most part of yesterday, Chris walked with me. You all probably saw the pics on FB and if not then drop by and check them out. It was enjoyable to have him there an we definitely had a few cool adventures along the way. No, I won't tell you. Janvier, Chris's awesome wife, played scout Nd drove all the way to Alabama for me to tell me what was ahead. We all had a late lunch at Cracker Varrel where we met a kid in army uniform, and a future ranger officer. It was. Productive and fun day yesterday.
Today has been a great day. Not really anything productive as far as PR for the cause. Ut I w noted the walk. I was up at 5 am an walking by 6. I made 20.5 miles today by 5 pm so I am happy. I'm now in the woods of Talladega National Forest and I'm going to get to sleep early and work towards a greatest tomorrow as well.
Have a great night everyone
Also, I like how I gained an extra hour this

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Waitin out the rain...

Today has been a fun day. If you haven't seen the videos from earlier today then you should go to YouTube and look for the Golf Ball videos under my username, TrekForHope2011. You are gonna love it! I won't say anymore about it but that.
I'm staying with a husband and wife and they are both prior service veterans. Desert Storm era to be more precise. Chris an Janvier are their names. They are wonderful people with generous and kind hearts. We have been playing with the various toys out here on the property. They have a couple old military vehicles that we can ride around in an we did that for a bit today. Check FB for pics. Chris and Janvier had a couple in for a visit and they were staying in the guest house next to the main house. I was able to spend some time with them today. Joseph and Cindy were their names and I was able to meet Cindys dad. Her dad is a veteran and Navy corpsman during the Okinawa invasion. He was a great guy and I enjoyed listening to his stories. Its truly an honor to be allowed to meet these heroes from a time before mine.
Tonight Chris and Janvier threw a birthday party for a family friend and I gorged myself on cake and ice cream. It's just calories for the road right? So after the party we then ate dinner and now I am stuffed and sleepy.
When Chris and Janvier picked me up yesterday they certainly surprised me. I am an army medic and they picked me up in a FLA. Any army folks out there? So it's basically a humvee with a cargo box on back set up for ambulance services. It's a ground medevac platform. That was really cool. Medevac coming to rescue the medic on the road!
The past two days have been an awesome experience. Today Chris took me to an eatery in downtown Villa Rica called the Tin Roof Cafe. Awesome place to eat and let me say thanks to them for the free lunch. Since I had on my sterile uniform they gave me my food for free. How great is that?! I am constantly reminded of peoples gratitude along this journey. While I was eating a lady came up and thanked me for my service and walked on. A few moments later. Young couple asked me if I was the walking soldier and I said yes. They ended up thanking me and offering a contribution of their own to the cause and my well being. I don't think there are enough kind things to say about all the amazing people I have met thus far. I can only imagine as to what lays before me.
I plan on heading out in the morning so long as the weather is ok. I think it will be. Onward to Bama! I should make Tallapoosa tomorrow night and camp out and then cross into Bama the next day.
I'm headed to bed. Goodnight all....

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Out behind the woodshed.

I woke up the next morning around 1000. I had trouble sleeping the night before and I don't know why. I could speculate but that's pointless. After I and the Kirby's got moving for the day we went down to the Hiram coffee shop in downtown Hiram Ga. The coffee shop had a warm happy feeling inside with an overall gentle aura. The main room inside was filled so we agreed to enjoy our lunch on the back patio. I ordered a corned beef sandwich with my usual coffee shop beverage, a medium coffee with a shot of espresso. We enjoyed ourselves greatly on that patio, laughing at each other but mostly laughing at Daniel. Daniel is the youngest of the Kirby children and quite the comic. He has a very outgoing personality with a highly creative imagination. He certainly doesn't meet a stranger and has keep things lively for us all. After some time on the patio we all wet next door to the cigar shop to view the inventory and enjoy the aromas. After toiling around inside for a while we left for the house. It was mostly uneventful for the remainder of the afternoon. About 500 we picked Gail up from work and headed over to Bay Breeze seafood restaurant. The family wanted to take me as a treat. I really enjoyed the atmosphere in the building and we had a server in training at our table so we made his night a little more lively shall we say. After a great dinner all of us piled in the car and went to American Legion Post 111. I was invited in to the meeting so that I may be able to share my story and share the Foundation with the members. They were all very receptive and interested on the cause. A little later I was invited in to the Auxillary meeting which is generally the wives and or lady associates of the Legion. Again, all were receptive and greatly appreciate of the Trek. We stayed a while and I spoke with many of them an took many pictures for FaceBook. We all left and headed to the Kirby abode.
I woke up about 615 today, packed my things and we headed out to a local breakfast place for a grand biscuit and coffee. We met Gail at her work and ate BF in the pEking lot. After that I was dropped off at the spot where the found me and we said our goodbyes and that was that.
I walked on for a ways thru Lithis Springs and then Douglasville. I met up with Don Ho at his shop Custom Mufflers. He is a Legion Member and wasn't able to make it last night to the meeting but heard about the Trek and asked me to stop by. He gave me some lunch money and we Took a few pics for the photo album and I headed out with a destination of American Legion Post 145. On the way I passed a great BBQ place called Hudson Hickory House. Man that place smelled heavenly and the sandwich was even better. I sat inside for a while and as I was eating the owners son came out to say hello and wish me well. I also met a guy who has a brother thT is finishing up Ranger school and I spoke with him about that and other things and he said he would certainly get his brother involved in the FoundaTion and the Trek. After a few goodbyes to everyone I headed out the door and on to 145. I arrived a while later and walked inside. I walked up to the bartender and shook his hand and explained who I was. Don Ho had called him earlier and told him to expect me. I introduced my self to an officer of the Legion and I was told they would put the word out. I was then introduced to a table of men and women. One in particular was a former Ranger officer and we spoke about the Trek and the Foundation and how he had never heard of the Foundation before I mentioned it. It's a huge honor for me to introduce a Spec Ops Warrior to the Spec Ops Foundation. It's monumental for me. So I passed out several cards and shook many hands. A Navy man spoke with me for a while about the walk itself..... Curiosity and amazement wrapped in one I think. He continued to thank me and to wish me well. I never would have thought I would be able to touch this many peoples lives and certainly not like this. How great is this for ME?!
Well, the title tells you where I am. I'm behind 145's woodshed holed up from the cold Nd the wind. Maybe Villa Rica tomorrow or maybe I'll just walk till the next big thing happens.....

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Staying at the Kirby's house.

What a day! I have been walking west for one day and already great things are happening. I left mom and dads house around 9 this morning and made my way thru Vinings towards US78. I made it to the corner of South Cobb and Cooper Lake Rd(I think) when a camera man with WSB TV in Atlanta met up with me and proceeded thru an interview with me. He also took several videos of me walking. Afterwards we shook hands and I headed WEST!
I walked on thru Mableton and made it into the city limits of Austell when a lady stopped me and asked me who I was. I told her I was matt and she asked if I was on the Fish radio last fri and of course I was so I answered yes. She was so excited that I was worried she was going to burst. She went on to tell me about her son, Petty Officer Dusty Kirby. Dusty is a Navy Corpsman and was shot in his face while guarding his post during his deployment to Iraq some 4 years ago. His mom, Gail, showed me videos and pictures of her son and I have to say that it was certainly moving. I was actually able to speak with Dusty by phone as he is in Camp Lejune which is in North Carolina. Dusty was upbeat and thankful for what I was doing and excited that his family could find me and have me in their home. We spoke for a few minutes about things that will stay between us but know that Dusty is a warrior. I am proud to have spoken with him.
So after spending a little while at the family home and after speaking with a radio station in Brooksville Florida we went out. The parents Jack and Gail and Destiny and Daniel the siblings and Crandall the family friend hoped in two vehicles and headed to Mellow Mushroom. We arrived at the Shroom and grabbed a couple tables and placed our order. Gail asked for the manager to come out and meet me so after a minute he made his way out to us and she told him all about me and the Trek. He introduced homself as Clint and He was a bit taken aback at what i was doing for the Foundation. He thanked me and then went on to give us a 50% discount on our food! That is huge! Thanks to Clint and Mellow Mushroom of Hiram Ga for their support. While we were eating Jason Romano called me. He is a friend of mine from Valdosta and he said his family wanted to meet me Nd only lived a few minutes away from Mellow. They came out and said hello and gave their warmest regards. It was great to meet them.
Just before this two riders with the American Legion Post 111 dropped by to say hello and inquire about the Trek. Knight Rider and Cowboy were great people and I learned that post 111 has played a huge part in the Kirby's lives since their son Dusty was wounded. I have been invited to a meeting tomorrow night at the Legion and I understand that the Sons Of Liberty will be there as well. This will be a huge opportunity to share the Foundation and the Trek with Americas own. This is going to be a huge honor for me and I hope that I am able to reach many for our "wounded families".
I was involved in a conference call with several other cross country walkers tonight also. It was informative and I was excited to hear from others who had walked the USA before me. Some had already finished their walk and some were about to embark and others were just beginning. I hope to be able to impart more wisdom on the next phone call. I offered my advice on blisters and asked about the distance between cities from a guy in west Texas. Lots of good advice was passed amongst us.
So I am here at the Kirby abode, in a home that has suffered much of it's own share of pain and misery. A family that is genuine and open. You can see the remnants of the roller coaster ride they have endured. I can only imagine the nights of crying till morning and the days of heartache and pain for their son. His road to recovery has been long and his familys has been no less of a struggle. It's a very real interface with a family resembling that which I walk for. Motivation. Cause for perseverance... Not that I needed it...
I will leave you at this. Goodnight.