Veteran walking across America to be in Columbus on Saturday

benw@ledger-enquirer.comMarch 1, 2013 

A 51-year-old Army Reservist and U.S. Marine veteran arrives in Columbus today to call attention to the plight of wounded and homeless veterans.

Mac McQuown plans to walk to every state capital in the nation to raise money for veterans. He has visited capitals in six cities since his journey started Sept. 11, 2011 in Stafford, Va.

"I noticed when 9/11 happened veterans were coming home from war and they were soon forgotten about," McQuown said Friday as he walked three miles east of Cusseta.

McQuown said walking to every state capital was the best way to call attention to veterans. Over the last 18 months, McQuown has been to state capitals in Maryland, New Jersey, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida.

He is motivated by all the veterans who he feels don't receive the attention they deserve.

"They seem to fall through the cracks of our society and that's a shame," McQuown said. "This is my way of kind of getting in people's faces to help them remember."

He is expected at Fire Station No. 1 on 10th Street at noon. He will have completed about 1,662 miles on his walk that will cover more than 15,000 miles when it's completed.

He will take a break in Columbus before getting back on the road Tuesday. "I will take the weekend off because I have a speaking engagement at a school on Monday," McQuown said. "I will speak at one of the high schools in Columbus."

The veteran averages about 10-15 miles a day while pulling a cart loaded with food, water, sleeping bag and other items.

McQuown is walking for Silver Star Families of America, raising money for Operation Walk America. Silver Star Families is a nonprofit group committed to supporting the United States combat wounded, ill and dying veterans from all wars.

Anyone interested in donating to the organization, may go to www.silverstarfamilies.org.

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