Marine Marching 15,000 Miles Ends Up in Laurens, Dodge and Telfair | Best Of
Mac McQuown,51, presents an interesting figure as he is dressed in Marine fatigues, boots, and pulling a 60 lb vividly decorated cart behind him with a U.S.A. flag and a POW flag stuck in it. He is marching 15,000 miles across all 50 states, and has stopped in Eastman until Augsut 8.
A native of Stafford, Virginia, the former Marine is on a mission. On this leg of his journey, he is heading to Florida. Wednesday, he will leave Eastman heading south. "For safety reasons and exposure, I don't walk the Interstate. I stick to routes where I can go from town to town." He has raised some money, and those funds will be going into a variety of projects to help homeless veterans and military families. "right now, we have not raised enough to really get started."
His plan, which took him two years to coordinate, is to walk all 50 states and go to each state's capitol and bring awareness to the programs, or lack of programs available to veterans.
His hopes are to raise awareness about fallen soldiers and job-less veterans - something that McQuown is all too familiar with. A Marine from 1980 to 1989, McQuown was a radio operator in Hawaii, Guam, Africa and Korea, and was a secuirty guard at U.S. embassies in Moscow, Warsaw, Vienna and Budapest.
But at the age of 28, when he finished his years of service, McQuown did not know what he was going to do. He served as a bouncer, an iron worker, a construction worker and a truck driver, and for over a year, was working in retail, living in his niece's basement.
When 9-11 happened, McQuown realized that something had to be done, that "our veterans had been forgotten." So, he has started a non-profit organization called, Project Foot, which is to help military families and homeless veterans. His marc hacross the states has been called, "Marine Walking" or as he jokingly refers to it, "Bald Marine walking."
As of Monday, sitting in the offices of the Eastman-Dodge County Fire Department, McQuown said he had made about "1246 miles thus far." He walks about 10 miles daily.
"I try to meet with Governors when I can, and just share the experience and the need for more resources and programs." he visited Ground Zero in New York on September 11 of last year, "That was really humbling for me, and life changing."
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