Veterans walk for charity

Published 11:02 pm Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Veterans from multiple U.S. military branches and the British Army walked together down Main Street Wednesday morning to raise awareness of the work of Walking with the Wounded.

Walking with the Wounded supports expeditions across other countries to help raise awareness, and this year the mission was to walk 1,000 miles across the U.S. to spread the message of their non-profit organization.

Veterans of the British Royal Army — Kev Carr, Kemsley Whittlesea, Jonny Burns and John Brady — walked alongside veterans of the U.S. military — Frankie Perez, Adele Loar and Larry Hinkle.

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Carr, Whittlesea, Burns and Brady are veterans of the Royal Logistics Corps, Royal Signals, Royal Anglian and King’s Own Royal Regiment, respectively.

Perez, Loar and Hinkle are veterans of the Army National Guard, Air Force and Marine Corps, respectively.

Their 1,000-mile walk began in Dockweiler Beach, Calif. on June 2, and they walk roughly 15 to 20 miles a day in whatever city they are visiting. They have also spent time in Texas, Wyoming, Louisiana, Georgia and North Carolina.

While they have enjoyed most of their trip, they especially enjoyed their trip to Texas. The group received a lot of support from everyone in the Lone Star State.

“Texas has the best hospitality down there,” Whittlesea said.

The journey for the expedition hasn’t been easy, because they are covering a lot of ground in a short amount of time. While the work is tough, they are more than happy to help raise awareness.

“I live in a veteran’s center. The charity saved my life, and I want to give back,” Carr said. “I don’t want anyone in my position to call it a day.”

Carr resides at The Beacon, a specialist veterans support center. The Beacon helps aid single veterans who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

Walking with the Wounded provides resources and programs to veterans to help reintegrate them into civilian life. Sometimes that means help with physical, emotional and mental wounds.

“Two non-profits helped save my life,” Loar said.

After an explosive hit her vehicle in Iraq, Loar suffered a traumatic brain injury, shrapnel injuries to her left eye and damage to her left shoulder. Past the physical injuries, Loar suffers from PTSD and depression.

The expedition came to America because the organization, along with one of its largest supporters, Prince Harry, believed that those who fight together can heal together.

“I’ve always felt the experiences we share in conflict provide the strongest support system in recovery,” Prince Harry said during a press conference in April. “This is especially true of our transatlantic partnership. There is much more we can learn from each other and in doing so we hope to improve support now and into the future.”

The group got to spend time with other veterans and talk about their shared struggles as well as the successes they have made in their lives so far.

During the trip, Loar actually had the opportunity to meet up with the man who saved her life more than a decade ago.

The experiences with others have made the trip well worth all the physical strain.

“It’s been great meeting people and bringing the issue to light,” Carr said. “We’ve got messages on Facebook saying we’ve inspired them to seek help. It really puts it into perspective.”

The group will get started again on Thursday at the Military Aviation Museum and walk to Naval Air Station Oceana. Their last day in Hampton Roads will be Friday as they walk from the Neptune Statue in Virginia Beach to the USS Wisconsin in Norfolk.

Donations can be made while they walk or online at