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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Marine Walking Across America to Raise Money for Wounded Veterans


Retired Marine Roy Wesley Brady Jr. continues to serve his community by walking across the country to raise money and awareness for veteran support. In big ways or small, how do you serve your community?

A U.S. Marine Corps veteran spent Monday afternoon walking from Kings Mountain to Shelby as part of his challenge to walk across America to raise money for programs that benefit wounded veterans.
Roy Wesley Brady Jr. began his journey on Sunday at the Marine Reserve Unit office in Charlotte, a city where he also has family. He intended to stop in Gastonia, but along the way he bypassed the city and made his way to Kings Mountain.
Brady recently retired from the Marines after 22 years of service, which included two tours in Iraq. His experience overseas made him want to give back to the men and women who sacrificed for their country.
"Having memories of combat and some of those people that got hurt, I definitely want to do something to help those guys," Brady said.
Money goes to veteran organization

While some of the money raised will go toward helping veterans who were physically wounded, Brady wants to help those who have suffered emotional trauma as well.
"The suicide rate (for veterans) is going up. I've lost a lot of friends to that," Brady said. "These guys are really messed up when they come home. I didn't have a problem with that, but some do. I want to bring recognition to that to help them."
The money raised from the walk will go toward the Combat Wounded Veteran Challenge, an organization that raises money to develop programs for wounded veterans. Brady decided he wanted to walk across the country and reached out to CWVC to partner with the organization.
Darcel Schouler, communications and marketing director of CWVC, said Brady has put a lot of work and training into preparing for the task. According to Schouler, Brady's dedication shows how he is a perfect representative of the military community.
"He's just a gung-ho kind of guy. You can see the passion," Schouler said. "He has a very profound love for the military and what it did for him and also he wants to give back. That's what the military community is all about."
The goal CWVC and Brady set to raise is $35,000 for a program to help combat wounded soldiers learn to sail three man boats to compete in a regatta, but Brady said he would like to do even more.
The journey has just started
"My goal was to raise as much money as possible. I'm not going to walk to here from California for just one program. I want to go for at least $100,000 dollars. I want to raise the bar myself," he said.
Brady has an outline of major cities he will hike to along the way, ending his trip at Camp Pendleton in California in six to eight months. He plans his route between small towns on the way to those major cities as he goes.
Brady describes himself as "all-terrain" and plans to sleep outdoors in a small tent most nights, which he is no stranger to after serving. If the weather looks especially bad or if he ever feels like getting a hotel room in a town along the way, Brady said he won't hesitate.
Since he is only two days into his journey, Brady said not many people are aware of what he is doing so far. He hopes to raise more awareness and support for his goal as he continues to trek across the county.
Betty Sharpe met Brady at a Holiday Inn in Kings Mountain after his first day of walking. She was impressed by the selflessness of his act.
"I was so impressed with him. He was so humble and kind," Sharpe said.
Brady said he has had a lot of time on his hands since retiring from the Marines, so he hopes the journey will occupy his time and provide some fulfillment. In addition to helping others, the walk will allow him to see the country he has devoted so many years to serving.
"I get a chance to see some parts of the United States inch by inch. I have more time overseas than I do in the United States, or it feels like I do," Brady said.

Those who wish to learn more about Brady's trip or donate to his cause, can do so by visiting and also visit his Facebook page, Roy Brady's Walk 4 Warriors.