SEATTLE — Two Army veterans walked from Kennewick to Seattle while carrying 80-pound rucksacks on their backs to raise awareness around the issues of returning soldiers.
The two veterans — 31-year-old Stuart McKenzie and 35-year-old Todd M. Hamilton — made the grueling walk over six days to bring attention to the Shadow 6 Foundation, an organization Hamilton founded to advocate for returning veterans.
They ended their walk in downtown Seattle on Sunday. Both men walked despite pain from injuries suffered during their service. McKenzie, an Iraq veteran, had hypothermia by the end.
The Seattle Times reported that Hamilton hopes to build a sanctuary in Ellensburg that features a working farm, classrooms, housing facilities and counseling services.
He said the suicide rate of returning veterans is too high and they need more support when they are back home.