SUMMERFIELD, N.C. -- A United States Marine from Summerfield plans to take a long walking journey to bring awareness to a cause dear to his heart.
Terry Sharpe, 68, will walk more than 600,000 steps on his 300-plus-mile journey to Washington, D.C., from Stokesdale to raise awareness of various veteran-related issues, including high suicide rates. He plans to begin the journey Wednesday.
“I'm going to make it one way or another. I'm going to get there,” Sharpe said.
He’s known as the "Walking Marine" since he’s made the trip six times in the last seven years. He knows the pain he’s about to embark upon is nothing compared to debilitating issues veterans face every day like post-traumatic stress disorder.
“We're losing so many veterans to suicide, men and women. Suicide is up to 32 percent, the women's is up to 85 percent, Vietnam veteran is up to 65 percent,” he said.
Sharpe plans to make his journey with a couple who lost their loved one in 2013 to suicide. They plan to make the trip to the nation’s capital in 22 days, which represents the number of veterans who take their own lives each day in the U.S.
“My mission is to make people aware of what's going on and check on their veterans and see how they are doing, and if they need help then try to provide it,” Sharpe said.
Sharpe is the 2019 Evan Williams American Hero honoree. He will receive a $10,000 check from Evan Williams Bourbon Whiskey Company on Tuesday morning. The event will be held at the Veterans of Foreign Wars at 961 Church Street Ext, Reidsville, at 10 a.m.