Injured Vets Continue Walk To Seattle
Throughout the week we've been telling you the story of two veterans who left Kennewick earlier this week to walk 300 miles to Seattle in order to raise awareness about veterans support services.
Todd Hamilton and Stuart McKenzie passed through Yakima this morning.
Hamilton is the founder of the Shadow 6 Foundation.
"We're out here marching across Washington to bring awareness, and to raise money for our foundation in order to build a soldier sanctuary in Ellensburg Washington," said Hamilton, "It's gonna be a place for guys like us to come back and heal. With brotherhood, and all the things that we need as soldiers that we're kind of lacking in the civilian world that we're thrust back into so quickly."
"People don't understand that this is a problem that's not going to go away," said McKenzie, "I mean, people can kind of shield their eyes from it or not really want to talk about it, but it's there, it's a problem and it's been going on for ten years."
Hamilton and McKenzie started their journey on Tuesday, after planning it for months.
"We started in Kennewick, we've got a hundred plus miles behind us now, coming into day four," said Hamilton, "It's been -- put your head down and beat feet. You know, just one foot in front of the other. Nothing behind you exists anymore. We've got people, supporters stopping us along the way. That's motivating."
Cindy Scribner watched both men pass by her home in Selah, and greeted them with many thank-you's.
"I'm proud of them for doing this, they definitely need to open the eyes of the government," said Cindy Scribner.
Brett Nelson visited Yakima today on a business trip, and stopped to embrace both men, thanking them for what they've done.
"They've made the ultimate sacrifice in a lot of cases, and they've sacrificed their wellbeing for the benefit of us all. And you know what? It's our priority to take care of them," said Nelson.
And when it comes to sacrifice, Hamilton says both he and McKenzie have the scars to prove it.
"I think combined, we have over 50 ratable injuries, and every bit of them hurt like crazy right now," said Hamilton. " A lot of people don't understand what it is to soldier on. It's not Call of Duty, it's not a highlight reel."
McKenzie says even though he and Hamilton have a long road ahead of them, it won't stop them from finishing the job they set out to do.
"There is absolutely no way we're not making it to Seattle, I will die on this mission," said McKenzie.
"On the 20th, come hell or high water, I will be there," said Hamilton, "We don't want to be some foundation that puts t-shirts on people and says it's gonna be okay. We're out here doing the real thing. Who does this?!"
To read more on the Shadow 6 Foundation, click here.