Mike Mobley, of Highlands Ranch, Colo., is one of the few that is actually walking the walk, literally.
Mobley is walking from outside of Denver, Colo., to Camp Lejeune, N.C., all while visiting some of the most important areas in the heartland of America in between.
His departure began March 24, and his expected arrival in North Carolina is around the first week in June.
This past week Mobley stopped to rest at Calhoun’s KOA Kampground, and for a meet and greet before getting back on the road toward the Carolinas.
“I’ve seen America from a whole new perspective,” said Mobley. “My main focus is to raise money for four non-profit organizations that I really care about.”
Those organizations are: The Wounded Warrior Project, an organization that initially began when several veterans and friends were moved by stories of the first wounded service members returning home from Afghanistan and Iraq. Now the program provides a complete rehabilitative effort to assist warriors as they recover and transition back to civilian life.
The Greatest Generations Foundation mission is to promote recognition and respect for U.S. and Allied war veterans while enhancing historical education for today’s youth, according to Mobley’s website.
The Fisher House Foundation program is a unique private-public partnership that supports America’s military in their time of need, and finally, Mobley is walking for Adaptive Adventures, which is now is an organization in its twelfth year of creating life changing opportunities for people with physical disabilities, according to Mobley’s website.
“I support all things military,” said Mobley. “Our military has kind of dropped out of sight on the news, but we still have kids fighting over there.”
With each step, Mobley said that he misses his family, who wasn’t supportive at first, more and more.
“I miss my family a lot; it’s kind of like being deployed. Obviously, people aren’t shooting at me, but it’s a small taste of what it’s like to be away from those you care about,” Mobley explained. “The hard part is the mental aspect; the walking is not the hard part; it’s missing them.”
His two identical twin boys, Matthew and Ryan, are both enlisted. Matthew is with the United States Army while Ryan is with the Marines.
“They have both been deployed many times,” said Mobley. He went on to say that his one of his sons is deployed right now, but will be coming home at the end of the month. Mobley, along with his other son, will meet in Fort Bragg to welcome him back to America.
When he stopped in Calhoun, he had already walked over 1,500 miles with the end in sight. He said that he usually walks 30 miles a day.
“I’m ready to be finished,” said Mobley. “America is a great place to live, but I’m ready to get back home with my family.”
Mobley and his wife, Deana, also have two daughters, Jenni Johnson and Julie Gooden, two granddaughters, Aleah and Ellery, and a grandson, Jones Hunt. They have resided in Highlands Ranch, Colo., since 1989.
To donate to this cause, visit www.operationherotrek.com. One hundred percent of the donations will be sent to one of the four organizations.