Archive for September 2010
The road I was traveling on today had no shoulder…just dirt, grass, and asphalt slag…. It made for a pretty uneven surface, slowed me down a little bit and didn’t help my blistered feet at all.
I was thankful not to be carting my pack, thanks for that goes to Sandy Talent, (who picked me up last night if you remember..) apparently she lives in New Boston and works in Texarkana, and she gladly shuttled my pack to my down line hotel. Thanks again Sandy!
My room tonight was donated my the Candlewood Inn Suites, in Texarkana, and when I got to town I set upon the task of finding the place…after some confusion about the street name (Cow Horn Creek NOT Calhoon Creek grrr…) and after an extended bus ride across town, (a few fellow bus riders had to point me in the right direction) I finally found the place, reunited with my pack and settled in.
Too tired to do anything extravagant for dinner I grabbed some frozen Stouffer’s at a local store and popped it into the microwave back at the room…
and settled in for a quiet nights rest.
The lines of an old John Denver song come to mind…
“Some days are diamonds some days are stones….”
I’ve been walking non-stop since I began, I think I might need a day off!
I’m headed across the Texas-Arkansas border tomorrow, into Hope, Arkansas… I will check in with you again tomorrow….thanks for everyone’s continued support!
Greetings from the road folks!
Everything is going so great…
Lot’s of support and well wishers…I am so blessed!
(I am also blessed with blisters…OUCH!)
My way point for today is another small town in NE Texas where they know all about hospitality, a nice little town I ran into called New Boston, Texas. We’re getting close to the Arkansas border folks… Buckle up… we’re heading into Texarkana country!
I got a late start this morning, and I blame it all on the Courthouse Inn Bed and Breakfast in Clarksville, Texas. It was just too comfortable, just too accommodating and breakfast was just too delicious. A special March for PTSD ‘Thank You’ goes out to Perry and Cheryl O’Brien for the exceptionaly restful night (and morning!) spent at your “B + B”!
It was all their fault I got a late start of course (not mine), and with a full belly and a well rested body I stepped out on the next leg of my adventure.
I went to say goody bye and say thank you to my hosts, the Clarksville, TX Chamber of Commerce, in downtown Clarksville, and I was greeted with an envelope containing a donation from a local business owner, a Mr. Ben Black…Thanks Ben! “ya know, every little bit helps…nothing will be wasted on my March for PTSD…”
Two American Legion Riders are to be thanked for pacing me and carrying my pack into New Boston today, good guys, their names are Mike Jolly and Bobby Martin…I am indebted to their service…thanks very much to you two gentleman, you don’t know how much that helps me!
Nice warm weather… a few high clouds, in the mid 80′s I suppose…I need a fair amount of water to combat the exercise and the heat..but I can’t complain about the weather… a nice day for a walk.
A little ways down the road a nice young man named Shawn Pace came driving down the road, driving a black pickup-truck and he passed by me, and he pulled over to the side of the road…
and I walked over to his window and he said…
“Hi there, do you want a hamburger?”…
and of course I said “Heck yeah I want a hamburger!”…
and he gave me an extra hamburger he happened to have,
and I said “Do you know what I’m doing?”
and Shawn said “no..”
and I then I told him what I was doing, you know all ’bout the march to D.C. ‘n all
and he said “Cool…OK, bye” then he drove off.
Was that an interesting story?
I’m not sure about that, but the hamburger sure was good…
and that is what really happened soooo….
I marched on through the day and into the late afternoon, and I was within miles of New Boston as the sun was setting low, when thankfully I was picked up by the New Boston, Texas Ladies Auxiliary American Legion President, none other than Sandy Talent and her associate, Deb Cook. Thank you girls!
Sandy and Deb had arranged a room for me at the local Holiday Inn Express (The Holiday Inn gave ‘em a GREAT rate when they heard about my cause….)
after a quick shower it was off to a great Mexican food dinner with my new friends from New Boston, Texas!
22 miles into Texarkana, Texas tomorrow folks…
Thanks so much to everyone who has reached out to me… you have made my task soo much easier!
Leaving Paris this morning, I got an early start walking today around 8:00am and after breakfast at the hotel I got a ride out to State Route 82 and went to work. I picked up a newspaper before I left…. ‘cuz I was on the front page! A very nice reporter, named Krista Goerte wrote a great article that appeared in The Paris News!
(read it here...)
It was a little on the warm side today, but incredibly nice… not a cloud in the wide open skies. My Patriot Guard Rider today again was Mr. Wayne Watts, who paced me… brought me water, and transported my pack for me….what a huge help! Thanks again Wayne and the entire Patriot Guard Rider organization!
I want to thank another Patriot Guard Rider Larry Uhme, who drove in all the way from Greenville, Texas, just to bring me some surprisingly good cinnamon rolls, and wonderfully cold water…..(The water I carry is always warm…love that cold stuff!)
I also got a couple of interesting calls:
One call from Winston Tedrick who was Joe Vitalec’s (for whom this march is dedicated….) good friend, before he passed away… He told me he lives in Northern Alabama and he said he would like to drive up and meet me when I’m passing through Nashville, TN….(I guess it’s only a couple of hours by car) I told him heck yeah sounds great!
And another call came in from Joseph Vitalec’s widow, Karomie Vitalec who ALSO lives within range of Nashville, TN and she ALSO wants to drive up and meet me….whoa, I would be honored.
After taking a few phone calls while covering about 30 miles today, I ambled on into Clarksville and was treated to dinner at the Italian Bistro by a few supporters and Clarksville Chamber of Commerce members. I was interviewed by a very patient newspaper reported named Sonja as everyone enjoyed a fantastic dinner, and the Clarksville Chamber of Commerce also donated lodging for the evening….Wow, what can I say but thanks guys!
Sooo I’m staying at a bed and breakfast tonight….and I’m the ONLY ONE HERE! I’ve got the whole place to myself! Looking forward to some home-cooked eggs and oatmeal in the morning and hitting the road!
A big thanks to all the friendly people in Clarksville, I’m pushing on into New Boston, Texas tomorrow…. I will be crossing the border into Arkansas in a few days…
See ‘ya on the road!
What a nice day for a walk it was today! I started today in Honey Grove, thanking Lloyd and Nina for their hospitality, and 22 miles later I ended up in Paris, France…oops I mean Paris, Texas. (just kidding!)
The weather was nice and cool… not to breezy. (like yesterday!) My Patriot Guard Rider today was a great fellow named Wayne Watts… Wayne also met me at the Paris city limits (about 3 miles out of town) and marched into town with me. Nice guy.
We made it into town about 1:45pm and we went to a local restaurant who’s owner happened to be a ex-Marine (oops there are no EX-Marines….I mean retired/non active Marine. Ha!) and when he heard what I was doing he bought my lunch… Thank you! every little bit helps out here believe me.
Several townspeople and veterans were there to greet me, I also did interviews with the local newspaper, “The Paris News” and a cable access channel, “Local TV99″.
I love to see all the support and smiling faces!
I was priveleged to go to dinner with a group of local veterans, we discussed all the issues on my agenda and I heard a few war stories… they were kind enough to pick up the tab…Thanks guys, I had a great time!
I’m staying tonight at the La Quinta Inn, which was also comped, (forgive me I have lost track of who donated it, but it is such a blessing and so appreciated!)
I’ve got to cover a lot of ground tomorrow… It’s 30 miles to Clarksville, Texas, I believe that is 3 miles past my personal best of 27 miles in single day….but I can do it.
I’m planning on leaving at 8:00am and I should make it into town by about 6:00pm…. If it wasn’t for the Patriot Guard Riders, I could not cover as much ground as I have been… they are transporting my pack and keeping my water supply fresh… As I understand it tomorrow is my last day with them…
I am hoping other members of the Patriot Riders might hear about my cause and pick up the baton… If any one has any info that could help, please contact me… Thanks everyone!
I’ll check in again with ‘ya tomorrow!
Checking in with you today from the very small but very friendly town of Honey Grove, Texas.
No rain today but it was quite windy…up to 25 mph gusts at some points, but I was in luck, the wind was to my back and it helped to push me right along!
Upon leaving Bonham, Texas this morning I trekked a half-a-day down the road about 15 miles, with my Patriot Guard Rider Richard Tanner, also from Bonham…keeping a distant eye on me. Boy it sure helps me out with them transporting my pack for me…thanks again to the whole organization!
My support team at ourforgottenwarriors.org had a sent out a few emails to the town of Honey Grove, but nothing had really panned out…I was supposed to go to the Baptist Church and they could most likely arrange something….
Well, when I got to the church about 1:00pm it was all closed up…no one in the parking lot…all the doors were locked up.
Then suddenly a car with 2 older people in it pulled into the parking lot, pulled up to me and asked if I was “the gentleman walking to Washington D.C.?”
“Yes, I am” I replied, and they said “Get in, you’re coming with us.”
So I got in the car and was quickly introduced to Lloyd and Nina Nicholson, 81 and 80 years old respectively, who opened their home to me for the night. How nice!
They told me they had heard about my march in church earlier in the day… apparently there had been an announcement, so when they where driving by and saw me at the church… they knew just what to do.
We took some time to visit Lloyd and Nina’s next door neighbor who is a Vietnam Veteran, and is in charge of fund-raising for a local Honey Grove All War Veterans Memorial that is being built… a very nice gentleman, I didn’t get his name but he did donate $20.00 to my cause….thank you!
Lloyd and Nina also took me out to dinner (Nina doesn’t like to cook anymore…) and they let me relax at their house and get some much needed R+R (and catchup on football!) for the evening….
Such a big thank you to Lloyd and Nina, you are truly generous souls, thanks again!
Looks like I’m headed over to Paris, Texas tomorrow, by my calculation I’ve covered 234 miles so far…. stay tuned folks!
Did ya see me on the news? Check it out here …
Well, I’m coming to you today from Bonham, Texas!
Starting off in Sherman, Texas, and needing to cover 27 miles today…the weather for the walk for PTSD continued to be rainy, but only for two or three hours, and then at least the rain stopped…. and the cloudy cooler temperatures that followed were a blessing compared to the heat that I’ve experienced so far.
The Patriot Guard dropped me off at the edge of the Sherman city limits, and transported my (40lb) pack to the down-line city limits for me…as well as checking on me along the way and providing me with a cell phone contact…. These guys are truly doing a fantastic job keeping an eye on me while I’m on the road…I must thank Spanky Livingston for his service today.
By my (non-scientific but pretty close) estimation, at ten o’clock this morning I crossed over 200 miles covered on foot! and I’m feelin’ good!
So many people are expressing their support, thumbs up…honking horns…. smiles everywhere, although it’s hard work marching across the Texas flatlands…. but I’ know I’m reaching a lot of people and I’m having a lot of fun.
One lady driving a Hummer 3 passed me today, I believe perhaps recognizing me from the news, turned around and stopped and shook down all her passengers for cash…explaining to me that her mother worked at the local VA hospital in Bonham, she then donated the $15.00 she collected from her passengers……thanks girls! every little bit helps!
I made it the 27 miles I needed today!! (Many thanks go to to the Patriot Guard, VFW, the American Legion, new shoes (thanks Amy!), nice weather, great food, lodging, and positive people!
The American Legion must be thanked today for donating money for a hotel room, and I also enjoyed a fantastic Mexican food dinner at Renaldo’s in Bonham, with Spanky and his girlfriend Cathie.
I’m heading 20 miles to Honey Grove, Texas tomorrow….as usual, I’m not sure what’s down the road but so far I’ve had lot’s of support and things have been lookin’ good!
I must say the rain is a welcome change from the ninety+ degree temperatures I have had so far, I have a Navy rain poncho with me so it wasn’t to big of a problem.
I want to thank the Patriot Guard for their efforts in escorting me from city to city. The Patriot Guard Riders assigns someone to drive by me every couple hours and I am able to check in with them by cell phone in case I might need something. Yesterday Travis Stevens and James (I lost your last name James sorry!) of the Patriot Guard escorted me out of Whitesboro (Thanks guys!), and Spanky Livingston will be keeping an eye on me today as I make my way towards Bonham, Texas…(You’re the man Spanky!)
I was escorted into town by the Patriot Guard Riders and was greeted at the Baptist Church, as well as doing an interview with the local television news, KXII, CBS Channel 12 in Sherman.
Check out the article and video report here….
The local American Legion put me up in a hotel for the night….and the hotel also donated $10.00 for my supper….
I met an interesting older gentleman named Dr. John Galewaler, who is currently accepting donations in order to construct a clinic treating traumatic brain disorders in Whitesboro, TX.
Dr Galewaler had a son who suffered a brain injury during a car accident when he was 19 years old, and is now inspired to build a clinic on the 40+ acres he owns in Whitesboro.
If you feel inclinedto support Dr. Galewaler, you may email him at firstname.lastname@example.org (fahrt means journey in German… Dr.s Journey)
James Hayes from Whitesboro,TX was able to get his church onboard with this very special cause. They welcomed John with open arms, fed him and prayed with him we could not ask to be blessed anymore than that.
John was met by Channel 12 news and ABC affiliate who did a wonderful job on reporting on the mission of the cause….the story will air tomorrow and should be available online as well.
Texas has been so involved in this that John is now taken care of all the way through Paris TX for now.
It is my understanding that they will be reaching out to make sure John does not have to use his tent for the rest of his journey.
Texas you certainally have the respect of Our Forgotten Warriors.
I’m coming to you today from Gainsville, Texas!
Ok..Decatur to Gainsville on the map reads about 53 miles without many services (water!)…so I began the walk today and walked out of Decatur about ten or eleven miles….
….and (mostly for safety reasons) I gratefully accepted a 15 mile ride from my new friend Rhonda Mcrae , whom I met recently in Springtown, TX, she happened to be heading down the highway on unrelated business.. (Thanks again Rhonda!)
Also I met up with what I think was a rattler today (I’ve been told I might meet up with some in these parts….)….He wanted no trouble from me and I wanted no trouble from him….we got along just fine.
After marching the final 10 miles into Gainsville, Texas, I was greeted with another amazing display of down home Texas hospitality.
I was met at the Gainsville city limits by the VFW and local the police (with squad cars and motorcycles… cool!)…..what a treat after a long hike….it is so heartwarming to meet like minded and supportive people wherever I go!
They escorted me five or six miles through town to the VFW hall, where we enjoyed a fantastic dinner (chocolate cake with red, white, and blue frosting!), and enlightening and wonderful conversation about veterans and PTSD.
It should also be noted that the Gainsville VFW POST 1922, arranged for a hotel room for me to stay in for the night…how amazing!
Dinner and a place to stay, what a wonderful group…Many thanks to VFW Post 1922 and everyone I met in Gainesville, Texas, you have been to very helpful, and have given momentum to my cause, I thank you graciously.
Another IMPORTANT thank you goes out AGAIN to Amy Styles who donated a BRAND NEW PAIR OF NIKE WALKING SHOES!
This is a very generous and appreciated gift towards my cause, and I thank her VERY MUCH!
Heading to Sherman, TX tomorrow, about 33 miles, a little out of my daily 20(ish) mile walking range, not sure where I’ll end up sooo….
Stay tuned sports fans!
I would like to thank Howard and Ginger Ferris and their son Bucky for the water and peanut butter crackers they brought me for lunch today!
After a days march, I ended up in a friendly town called Decatur, Texas.
I was met at the city limits by the Fire Department (Wow! ) and met a really nice guy, Fire Chief Mike Richardson, who had contacted the local Hampton Inn and they gladly donated a room for the night. (Wow again!)
I was also treated to dinner at a local restaurant..
Mike Richardson, six veterans and myself ate and discussed some of my thoughts about PTSD, I really had a great time….
I am meeting some wonderfully friendly people on this trip.
Everyone’s kindness, generosity, and genuine concern for my cause touches my heart.
A special thanks to Carol at Our Forgotten Warriors, through her efforts a lot of people are coming out of the woodwork to show their support!
I’ve got about a 30 mile stretch with no services (water) tomorrow…not sure I can carry enough water for that distance, (boy it’s still HOT!), might have to work something out…