Wounded veterans complete walk to Seattle
They're a little bruised and battered, but two wounded veterans are back home tonight after walking from Kennewick to Seattle.
Stuart McKenzie and Todd Hamilton arrived in Seattle yesterday after walking for six days.
They went on the long journey to raise awareness for veterans support services so those returning home can receive the help they need.
"That's just what this is all about is helping people that are coming back now" said McKenzie.
When the pair arrived in Seattle yesterday afternoon, they were greeted with open arms and smiles of relief from friends and family.
The say the challenging walk to the west side gave them hope that they could make a difference and help veterans with their new non-profit, the Shadow 6 Foundation.
"People were stopping, offering us rides, giving us money, giving us coffee. I mean, it was just so amazing. And Todd, he's not really used to it, he's from Boston, he's like, man, I never noticed. I was just like, that's what's great about the Northwest. And so if we can get a state to do this, why can't we get a country to do this?" said McKenzie.
The pair walked up to 45 miles each day, except when they got a ride across the pass since it was closed to pedestrians.
And the journey was not easy.
McKenzie got hypothermia, and Hamilton injured his foot.
"We're definitely not 21 anymore. That's for sure" said McKenzie.
McKenzie says the trip was a success overall, but their long-term journey is far from over.
The pair says at least 18 veterans commit suicide every day, and their goal is to help stop that, and start giving veterans hope.
"If they need someone to talk to, anything, that's what we're about. That's what we want to create. And so hopefully with this, we've generated enough buzz, that we can start, and actually start making an impact" said McKenzie.
McKenzie and Hamliton hope to build a soldier sanctuary in Ellensburg so veterans can receive support and counseling as they adjust to life after war.
For more information on the Shadow 6 Foundation, click here.