Veterans to walk from Palm Springs to Phoenix

PALM SPRINGS – Two U.S. Marine Corps veterans will set out today on a walk from Palm Springs to Phoenix to raise money for wounded veterans and create awareness of the issues they face, including suicide.

Adam Shatarsky and Ross Delafield are part of The Wounded Walk, a Leesburg, Virginia-based nonprofit that supports physical and mental post- combat treatment for veterans.

Shatarsky said he and Delafield will leave today from the Palm Springs Hilton and follow Interstate 10 through the Mojave Desert, walking the 300-plus miles in roughly 10- to 12-mile increments.

”People are showing up to walk with us, it’s a pretty great community we’ve created,” Shatarsky told City News Service.

He and Delafield — who will carry U.S. and Marine Corps flags — will stop in Thousand Palms on Saturday, Indio on Sunday and Coachella on Monday, with a Sept. 1 estimated arrival in Phoenix.

Updates on the walk, dubbed ”Mission Mojave,” will be posted on Twitter, Facebook and at www.thewoundedwalk.org.

One of the main reasons the men are walking is to raise awareness of the ”epidemic” of veteran suicides — an estimated 22 veterans take their own lives every day — and of the VA health care crisis, according to a Wounded Walk statement.

Members of The Wounded Walk walked from Camp Pendleton to Washington, D.C., in 2013 and from New York City to Washington last April.

Shatarsky said they are walking through the desert in summer on purpose.

”We picked a very daunting task because we have this message we want to get across, (and) we needed something crazy enough to work,” he said. ”People take notice. No one will listen to our message, so that’s why we choose the Mojave or walking with a 40-pound log because we represent that walking struggle.”

Delafield carried the log from New York to Washington in memory of veterans who committed suicide.

Shatarsky served in the Marines for four years and was stationed with the 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines Weapons Company at Camp Pendleton. In 2011, he served in Japan during the search and recovery effort after the devastating earthquake and tsunami off the coast of Tohoku.

Delafield was stationed at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina with the 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines, and in 2001 was involved in a NATO-led international peacekeeping force in Kosovo.

The Wounded Walk is currently raising money to help veterans who face medical bills and need prosthetics.

2 Responses to "Veterans to walk from Palm Springs to Phoenix"

  1. grunt   August 1, 2014 at 7:21 am

    While this is commendable, I am concerned about the "medical bills and need prosthetics". The military pays for 100% of medical bills for Marines on active duty, those retired (medically or otherwise) recieve 100% free from VA or Naval Hospitals and a co-pay (which is another subject all together) if from civilain care-providers. Prosthetics the same. If these Marines are paying out of pocket for any of this, THEN THE PROMISED GOVERNMENT HEALTH CARE IS FAR MORE BROKEN THAN WE HAVE BEEN TOLD. The Disabled American Veterns, the VFW, the Order of the Purple Heart and the American Legion are all organizations that help and support Vets; these Marines that are NOT getting the medical care and prosthetics need to contact one or more of these organizations – they will care the fight to Washington.

    Reply
  2. DR DR   August 1, 2014 at 9:01 am

    The hottest time of the year – wouldn’t be healthier to wait?

    Reply

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