Troy fraternity begins 128-mile hike for veterans

Fraternity members are hiking to raise funds for veterans. (Source: WSFA 12 News)
Published: Mar. 11, 2022 at 6:12 PM CST|Updated: Mar. 11, 2022 at 10:36 PM CST
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TROY, Ala. (WSFA) - Friday marked day one of a six-day journey for members of one Troy University fraternity walking to Florida.

Brothers of Alpha Tau Omega are hiking over 128 miles to Panama City Beach to raise funds for veterans at Jeep Sullivan’s Wounded Warrior Outdoor Adventures.

ATO brothers departed from Troy University’s quad early in the morning and had walked all day. With around 100 miles left, participants are one day closer to the sand.

“Everybody’s pretty high in spirits,” walker Douglas Thompson said. “First day –everything’s new, bunch of things to look at, you know, a bunch of cars honking at you and saying ‘hey.’”

The nonprofit Walk Hard supports helps veterans recover from the trauma of war through exploring the great outdoors.

“Not everybody gets to do something like this for this cause,” Thompson added. “It’s just an awesome thing.”

Day one had its challenges, but walkers persisted despite the pain.

“These guys are pushing themselves to the limit on this first day,” Walk Hard Director Matthew Taylor said. “It is the longest day, with these 28 miles, but the reason behind that is that they haven’t really been through that strenuous activity yet, so we want to try to get them as far down the road as possible for the upcoming days.”

Walkers have a goal of $100,000, after raising $90,000 last year.

You can follow their journey, and donate, online at walkhard.info.

They will unveil their grand total on Wednesday at Pier Park.

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