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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.

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