Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Troy Yocum and veterans issues

Troy Yocum has walked nearly 5,000 miles since he began his "Hike for our Heroes" journey in April. Tuesday morning, a roaring crowd greeted him with yellow ribbons of support. The 750 students at Church Hill Middle School have been following the journey online, as Yocum has been hiking across America.
"It shows me that there's not just support for myself," Yocum announced in the packed auditorium, between tears. "But for all the people that I've been fighting for."

The above is from Melissa Garcia's report for WOAI. KGNB offers an audio report which notes "Yocum was visibly limping during the ceremony." He notes he has 3,000 more miles left and is suffering from a foot infection.


(Troy Yocum photo taken by John Crosby)

Hike for our Heroes is a non-profit started by Iraq War veteran Troy Yocum who is hiking across the country to raise awareness and money for veterans issues. He began the walk last April.

In other veterans news, Jeff Stein (Washington Post) reports on Iraq War veteran Maj Anthony Camerino's book Kill or Capture: How a Special Operations Task Force Took Down a Notorious Al Qaeda Terrorist which he has written under the pen name Matthew Alexander. From the book, Stein quotes him writing: "Not a day goes by that we [didn't] carry out a mission. More than half our raids [attacked the] wrong houses."

Meanwhile Steven Verburg (Wisconsin State Journal) reports on the children of service members:

Andrew Leckel already was waking up with nightmares about his father’s second yearlong deployment in Iraq. One day he came home crying because his first-grade classmates had inadvertently fueled his fears by talking about soldiers being killed in the war.
His mother, Heidi Leckel, says her son’s experiences underscore the need for parents, teachers, neighbors — everyone — to be more aware of how hard the long-running wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are hitting children of soldiers.
Andrew and his sister, Abby, 6, are two of 14,500 Wisconsin kids, from toddlers to teens, who didn’t sign up for battle, but still must surrender their parents for months at a time, and face the fear of losing them forever.

The following community sites updated last night:

If you e-mailed for a highlight this morning, you're not getting it. Why? No electricity due to the storm (supposedly back on soon) and I've had to leave the house to get WiFi (for some reason, in the DC house, I can't use my WiFi). Battery is running down and the coffee shop I'm at is saying that they're closing (due to the weather) in 15 minutes. The e-mail address for this site is

thomas friedman is a great man

oh boy it never ends