I'm walking from Camp Pendleton, California to Fort Benning, Georgia. The Walk for Warriors begins on April 1,2010. The trip will cover 2,140 miles at 20 miles per day, and will take approximately 110 days to complete.
He's already raised over $15,000. Fisher House's About page says:
Because members of the military and their families are stationed worldwide and must often travel great distances for specialized medical care, Fisher House Foundation donates "comfort homes," built on the grounds of major military and VA medical centers. These homes enable family members to be close to a loved one at the most stressful times - during the hospitalization for an unexpected illness, disease, or injury.
There is at least one Fisher House at every major military medical center to assist families in need and to ensure that they are provided with the comforts of home in a supportive environment. Annually, the Fisher House program serves more than 10,000 families, and have made available nearly three million days of lodging to family members since the program originated in 1990. By law, there is no charge for any family to stay at a Fisher House operated by the Department of Veterans Affairs; and Fisher House Foundation uses donations to reimburse the individual Fisher Houses operated by the Army, Navy, and Air Force. No family pays to stay at any Fisher House!
I'll bet most of you didn't know that. On March 31 there was a write up in the The San Diego Union-Tribune. Here's a brief excerpt:
...his weakest skill has been promotion and fundraising. He has raised less than $6,000 toward his $2 million goal.
Raising awareness is just as valuable in these lean economic times, said Cathy Cabrey, director of Team Fisher House, which helped Coté create an online donation portal. Fisher House is building 20 more home-away-from-homes for wounded troops and their families to use while undergoing medical care, and the need won’t end with the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, she said.
As I said above: He's already raised over $15,000 by now. Way to go, John!
I posted a diary yesterday about this and everyone out of the handful was really supportive.
We have a great record as a site of caring about our troops, so Fisher house is another chance to do it, along with the many others. Here is some of what John blogged on day 24:
After the Beatles broke up and Nixon was the new Commander in Chief of the most unpopular war in American history. Free love and the groove factory drifted towards cynical thoughts of mercenary fancy. Finding one’s Chi became paramount. T.V. preachers provided salvation for a monthly installment of $9.95, for which you would receive a pamphlet with a personal message answering your prayer. A new phenomenon called self-help books could help you discover the mountain climber in you. We were told that we could have it all and lose weight while we were having it.
Sometimes he blogs more about his actual walking. Sometimes he gets semi-delirious. Recent blog entries have told about his time in the Peace Corps and entertained fantastic visions of Indian warriors, past vet heroes, and sometimes a general attitude that is too right-wing for me. But he's been out there longer than many thought he'd make it. The concession of driving his truck and then walking 20 miles that day was made of necessity, and he's really not in the very best of shape to be doing this, but he's still at it.
Separately but related, on April 24 The New York Times ran a story called In Army's Trauma Care Units, Feeling Warehoused dealing with the unsatisfacory conditions for treament that many injured troops are subjected to.