By Cassidy Pate, Correspondent
Fellow veterans and Belton community members welcomed a team of six veterans before continuing their journey with Walking With The Wounded’s (WWTW) “Walk of America 2018” Wednesday morning at the Bell County Museum.
In what will be a 14-week, 1,000-mile trek across America, “Walk of America 2018” is the fifth expedition assumed by WWTW, which was founded in 2010.
With its headquarters being in Melton Constable, U.K., WWTW is a charity formed around veterans for the purpose of raising mental health awareness and funding British and American wounded veterans.
Beginning June 2 in Los Angeles, Calif., the walkers are set to take their final steps of the walk on September 6 in N.Y. and will make 16 stops total in Texas along the way.
This stage of the walk was a staggering 20.5 miles to their destination, the Starbucks Military Family Store in Fort Hood, but it was all in a day’s work for the six veterans.
“Belton is a key starting point for the walkers as they travel through Texas from Dallas to Beaumont,” Corey Kitchener, senior account executive of Havas PR, said in an email.
Three veterans from the U.S. and three from the U.K.: Frankie Perez, CPL, US Army National Guard, Adele Loar, Msgt, US Air Force, Larry Hinkle, Sgt, US Marine Corps, Kev Carr, Royal Logistic Corps, Kemsley Whittlesea, Royal Signals and Jonny Burns, Royal Anglian formed this team to support one another and strengthen their cause of bringing two countries together for the WWTW charity.
“Walking With The Wounded supports a pathway for vulnerable veterans to re-integrate back into society and sustain their independence,” WWTW website said. “At the heart of this journey is employment.”
Because its mission lies in inspiring veterans rather than making profit, each expedition is sponsored by corporate partners, which remains separate from donations to the charity, the WWTW website said.
“This ensures monies we receive from fundraising activity are distributed solely into our re-education and re-training programs and not into funding any elements of our expeditions,” the WWTW website said.
Prince Harry, previously Prince Henry of Wales and now the Duke of Sussex, is serving as a Patron for the expedition.
“What you guys are doing here is truly fantastic,” the Duke of Sussex said. “There are guys and girls who, because of you, have been taken out of an incredibly dark place and offered a train track heading in one direction.”