Marine Honoring His Fallen Friends Toughed Out The End Of A 13-Mile Hike Barefoot After His Boots Broke
Travis is a Marine who served four tours overseas in the past 12 years.
In his time back in the states, he’s been working on projects helping veterans cope with PTSD through mediation and yoga. He’s become a certified yoga instructor, and leads yoga and meditation classes for vets, and also works with Project Welcome Home Troops, a support group for service members returning from combat.
This weekend, he was hiking with Irreverent Warriors, a group working to prevent veteran suicide through humor. On the 22-kilometer hike, with a ways to go, his boots broke. That didn’t stop him though.
After, he posted a picture of his busted boots alongside this story. I saw it this weekend, and thought it was too damn awesome not to share.
These boots have walked the earth on 5 continents, and covered hundreds, if not thousands, of miles. Yesterday they had enough. However, it could not have happened on a more meaningful day. I was hiking 22 kilometers yesterday with #irreverentwarriors to PREVENT veteran suicide, not raise awareness of it (we are all very aware veterans are killing themselves). It was an amazing day full of laughs, tears, and some beers. I met other veterans in the area, and made contacts I will maintain for the rest of my life. On mile 12 or so, my foot felt a little funny, so I looked down and realized my right sole was splitting. I finished up the rest of that leg of the hike. And then, for the last 1.5 miles, I walked barefoot. I walked barefoot because quitting is not in my nature, I’ve been through worse, and it was my way of honoring our gold star wives (widowers whose husbands died), as well as Rick Villani (who took his own life in 2011 when I was in Afghanistan). This picture sums up more than a thousand words. I am so thankful to have been a part of this.
That’s fucking dope. Bad ass as all hell.
Full disclosure: I’ve known Travis since about ninth grade, but we often hated each other throughout high school.