Local Marine prepares for 500 mile walk

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT)-- The United States has been at war for more than 10 years; in that time nearly 50,000 American troops have fought only to return wounded. But one retired marine is walking to remind people of wounded warriors.

Mac McCollum is a retired Staff Sergeant of the Marine Corps. who will walk 500 miles from the East Tennessee Veterans Memorial to Arlington National Cemetery in Washington D.C. He's named the walk "A Ruck to Remember".

He told us "I am walking to support wounded warriors. To often our wounded veterans are forgotten especially with the draw downs in Iraq and Afghanistan."

But he's hoping this "Ruck to Remember" will remind people of wounded warriors like his best friend Bradley Walker, a fellow marine.

Bradley explained how it happened "I volunteered for my second deployment in 2006. About three months into my deployment I was driving a humvee and it got struck by an improvised explosive device."

Mac was there when it happened " I was actually in the lead vehicle and we ran back when he heard the explosion. We provided security while we helped to get the wounded marines out of the humvee and I carried Bradley to the medevac.

When we asked Mac want was going through his head while carrying Bradley to the medevac he said "I looked at him and thought he was going to die."

Luckily, Bradley survived and but his life will never be the same again.

"I lost the knee joint itself but basically I have to have a prosthetic knee to walk on the right side. On the left side I'm a below the knee amputee." Bradley told us.

He's not the only wounded warrior though, struggling to adjust.

Bradley said "We're still here and we need support of the community the public in general."

Starting May 7th, Mac will start his walk from the East Tennessee Veteran's Memorial in Knoxville. He will walk 20-25 miles a day to get to Washington D.C by Memorial Day.

But he's still in need of donations and supplies so if you're willing to help visit his website.

Also, he's hoping that others will join in his walk to honor those who risk their lives for our country everyday.


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