Members of Troy University’s ATO “Walk Hard” For Wounded Veterans


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For most of you in college, spring break means one of two things: you either go on a fabulous vacay funded by your credit card/parents or you head home to be pampered for a week by your mom. Whichever one you choose, those of us past our college years (cue the tear rolling down my cheek) will be living vicariously through your Instas and Snapchats while we toil at the spirit-sucking jobs that await you when you graduate and tweet at government officials that spring break really should be a nationally recognized holiday.

But there’s one group of guys that actually won’t be taking part in any of your usual spring break activities, and even though I’m still jealous of their week off, I’m more in awe of their spirit.

Over 30 members of Alpha Tau Omega at Alabama’s Troy University will be heading to Panama City Beach tomorrow – but they aren’t flying there and spending their days getting drunk on the beach. Instead, they are walking there – 128 miles over six days – to raise money for wounded veterans.

According to The Tropolitan, the event, named “Walk Hard,” began in 2009 when two chapter brothers saw a man walking along a highway carrying an American flag which inspired them to “create a unique philanthropy event to raise money for military veterans.” Since then, the event has only grown – in fact, over fifty chapter members wanted to take part this year, but due to safety regulations from the Department of Transportation, the number who can walk is limited to 31.

The brothers partner with Jeep Sullivan’s Wounded Warrior Outdoor Adventures for the event, which is a nonprofit organization in Florida. According to their website, the organization aims to “offer combat-wounded veterans and their families opportunities to enjoy God’s great outdoors. Our mission is to honor these courageous men and women while facilitating complete healing of the body, soul and spirit.” Last year, ATO raised $11,000 for the organization; this year the goal is $20,000.

Why is this cause so important to these brothers? Simple, event organizer Dash Merritt told the paper: “These warriors willingly risk their lives on a daily basis for millions of people that they don’t even know. Our country owes it to our military to take care of our soldiers, just as they have taken care of us.”

Well said.

To donate to ATO Walk Hard, visit their GoFundMe Page.

[via The Tropolitan]

Image via Twitter

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