Walking coast to coast for the fallen - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Walking coast to coast for the fallen

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Eleva (WQOW) - A retired Montana Marine is devoting his summer to walking for the fallen and Monday, we caught up with him.

His journey has taken him from Washington State to Wisconsin and eventually on to Washington D.C.

"I picked April first and I had people telling me, 'Oh I get it, it's a joke, April Fool's Day.'  So I decided to move it a day forward," says retired Marine Sergeant Chuck Lewis, who takes this mission seriously, because it began when he heard about a young marine who returned home from war and committed suicide.

"When that happened, I thought, 'I need to try to do something to bring attention to our veterans, those that have served our country, those that have separated from service,'" says Lewis.

A walk from Washington State to Washington D.C. seemed the appropriate answer and he now finds himself working his way across Wisconsin.

"It kind of depends on how far the towns are apart.  I try to line them up, I try to get in about 20-25 miles in the day," says Lewis.

Stopping wherever a town presents itself for lunch or to set up camp for the night, "It's 150 pounds, but it houses my sleeping bag, my tent, my food, I have a little single burner stove there."

With a goal of spreading the word and raising funds to help our veterans, especially when they return home from service.

"My goal is to raise $50,000.  We'll see how that goes," says Lewis.

Each passing day also reminds him of another goal.

"I want to be back in Montana before it snows again, but I'm shooting for the end of September," says Lewis.

Carrying the message of help, hope and honor from sea to shining sea.

"Thank you for your service and in terms of Marine Corps lingo, I would say Semper Fidelis, always faithful.  Ooorah," says Lewis.

Sergeant Lewis is about to break out his third pair of shoes for the journey and says if you'd like to follow his progress he's carrying a GPS tracker and his website updates every 10 minutes.

You can also donate and read more about his mission here.

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