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Army vet passes through area during trek on foot from Florida to Michigan

Jack Huffman (Jax) meets with kids at the Boys and Girls Club in Adel. He is taking a 1,500-mile walking journey across America to raise money for veterans. He started this journey on May 13 in Sarasota, Fla., and has challenged himself to complete the walk in 60 days. The walk will finish at the 6th Annual Salute Our Warriors Event in Rochester Hills, Mich., on July 13. Jax will walk across six states carrying a dove, Nikki. Nikki will be released at the finish during the Salute Our Warriors Event in Michigan.

Army Veteran Jack Huffman has walked a lot since leaving the service. He’s crossed Michigan twice. He walked from Newport Beach, California, to Tybee Island to raise support for St. Jude’s Hospital for Children.
Now he is walking north from Sarasota National Cemetery in Florida to Detroit, Michigan, to bring attention to veterans, more specifically the charity Salute Our Warriors and veterans’ mental health needs.
His walk so far has generated immense support. In Adel and Valdosta, he was greeted with a huge show of support. He also had a pair of walking shoes donated.

In Adel, he was greeted by Lisa from Lisa’s Cakes and had lunch at the Parrish House courtesy of Lisa. “I met with all the amazing people at Adel City Hall! And went and talked about the walk with the Boys & Girls Club!” he said. “The kids had so many questions, and they loved Nikki” – the dove accompanying him on the trek.

“Adel is an absolutely incredible city in support of our Veterans!” he added. “I’m honored and grateful to have met all these amazing people today.”

“This is like the uniting of America, all walks of life. Amazing, generous people,” he said.
In addition to veteran issues, he is trying to encourage people to be more active.
“Inspire our youth to get up and be moving again,” he said. “Inspire people to chase down their dreams. Get started and keep going.”
His best day walking is 81 miles in 24 hours, without the small wagon he now pulls with a harness. The wagon slows him a bit as his best 24 hours with that is a good bit less.
He starts walking in the early morning hours, getting a few hours of sleep each night. He tries to walk to midnight every day.
“I am averaging well over 30 miles a day,” he said.
A bird cage is strapped to the side of the wagon. Nikki, the dove, sits in the cage. Nikki will be released as part of a larger dove release in Detroit on July 13.
The walk started with a dove release at the Sarasota National Cemetery. More bird releases are planned on his walk north. The next large release is in Atlanta.
When he gets to Nashville, a skydiving event is planned. At the final stop in Detroit, he will be carried around Motor City in a helicopter.
He stopped in Sycamore and Ashburn last week. He estimates his walk to that point was 350 miles.
In Sycamore, Walker’s BBQ fed him supper. The Walker’s crew and the Sycamore City Council came out to have their picture taken with him and to give him $180 toward his expenses for the Salute Our Warriors fund.
He stopped for a while in Ashburn for a shower and pitched a tent in Wiregrass Farmer Editor Ben Baker’s yard for some sleep. Mr. Baker offered to let him come inside, but he declined.
Mr. Huffman was up and walking after midnight, headed north.

You may follow Jax’s journey on Facebook Jaxwalk. 

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