DOTHAN, AL -- (WTVY) It’s walking with a purpose.
The brothers of Alpha Tau Omega’s Troy University chapter are packing and preparing themselves both mentally and physical for the hike of a lifetime.
The group of brave volunteers walks from Troy University’s main campus, located in Troy, Alabama all the way down to Pier Park in Panama City Beach, Florida.
The 128.3 mile hike is rough, but the brothers all have their reasons for doing it.
"I grew up in a military family, both of my parents were military,” said Walker David. “My mom did about 28 years in the Air Force and my dad did a few years in the Air Force as well. My dad end up being a really avid hiker and he was planning on doing the Appalachian Trail but in September he passed away so this is kind of a big tribute to him."
All of the money they raise will go to Jeep Sullivan’s Outdoor Adventures, a ministry offering opportunities in hunting, fishing, and fellowship to veterans and combat wounded personnel and their families in the Wiregrass.
"Knowing that if these men can sacrifice their lives and go overseas and sleeping in foxholes, get shot at all the time, I know I can walk 128.3 miles,” said Riley McCullough. “It's not that big of a sacrifice for me as it is for the to get out there and sacrifice their lives."
Their goal for this year is $25,000 and they are well on their way to meeting that goal.
"Yeah, it's an ambitious goal,” said Sam Moody, the walk’s organizer. “What we use to kind of drive us is just the fact that we are trying to use this money to change lives... to change souls if we are being quite honest. We see it as a challenge, but as a challenge accepted."
This philanthropic event has caught the eyes not only of the people in the Wiregrass, but all across the country and become a model for other fraternities and chapter to do the same.
"We're proud to say that we're the first, laughed Sam Moody. “It's awesome to see other fraternities, other chapters take this idea and literally run with it."
You can find out more and donate to their cause at https://ato.crowdchange.co/1852.