Larry Hinkle, a Marine veteran, is walking from Camp Lejeune, N.C. to Camp Pendleton, Calif. in honor of those who have served.
Hinkle told The Daily Caller that there are a number of reasons behind the walk. First and foremost, he hopes to bring awareness to veterans and first responders about organizations that exist to help them.
“It took me nine and a half years to get my disability; I thought you had to be severely disabled [to get help].” He says he wants people to be aware that they can get assistance, “These organizations do exist, let us help however we can, if it’s just bringing a smile to your face or even making a car payment because you’re behind.”
After returning from three deployments, one of them being the initial invasion of Iraq, Hinkle started Phase Line Organization. The organization’s website states that the goal is to “provide the tools, equipment, and finances necessary for the advancement of Veterans’ basic living, education, and well-being.”
He told TheDC that, “If I can’t personally help a veteran, I will definitely find the means to do so or send them in the right direction.”
Another inspiration for the walk is one that he says many other veterans share. “I want to see what I’m fighting for, experience the love in this country and what freedom truly means.'”
Hinkle joked that, “I didn’t think I’d be doing it on foot!”
After hearing the story of someone who served in World War II, the former Marine said it “gave me this sense of pride and honor,” and he wanted to “take it across the country and dole it out to veterans individually.”
“The Hump,” the name given to the 2,640-mile journey, has been “time consuming and grueling, walking 20-25 miles every day, but it’s a drop in the bucket compared to the people that can’t do this,” said Hinkle.
He says that the response has been overwhelming positive and “meeting veterans and random people that are on Social Security and giving me five dollars really inflates the sails.”
Hinkle has passed through Aledo, Texas, and says he has finished a little more than 1,100 miles.