Americus Times-Recorder, Americus, Georgia

Local News

February 25, 2013

U.S. Marine walks to raise awareness for veterans’ causes

AMERICUS — On Thursday, U.S. Marine Mac McQuown made his way to the Sumter County Fire Department Station 1 on Rucker Street. It was one of many stops at fire stations across the country for McQuown, whose goal is to walk to the capital steps of all 50 states. In all it’s a 15,000-mile journey.

Prior to arriving in Americus, McQuown spent Wednesday night at the Smithville Fire Station where he was treated to a steak and baked potato dinner. Thursday he was received a Sheriff’s Office escort to the Sumter County Fire Station where the Times-Recorder caught up with him. Sumter County Board of Commissioners Chairman Randy Howard and Fire Chief John Ekaitis visited with McQuown to express their appreciation for McQuown mission to bring attention to service men and women serving abroad and to help raise donations for United States combat wounded, injured and dying military members through his partnership with The Silver Star Families of America.

McQuown travels light with about 10 days worth of supplies, including a two-man tent that he has yet to use.

“I stay at fire houses 80 percent of the time,” he said proudly, adding that in some cases people will sponsor a rental room or will open their homes to him. McQuown is sponsored locally by Star Racing.

As a proud Marine and American, McQuown feels he should do what he can for veterans of all wars, who have returned home after offering so much of themselves for their fellow Americans. He said after 9-11 people were affected in a certain way and that was his inspiration for Operation Walk America.

“I noticed that veterans were not always appreciated and it didn’t sit very well with me,” said McQuown. “I came to the realization that every state produces veterans, and what a better way to pay tribute than to walk to the capital of each state.”

Leonard “Mac” McQuown lives in Ocala, Fla. For more information visit www.operationwalkamerica.org. Email mac@baldmandwalking.com, facebook.com/MacMcQuownwalking. YouTube search “Macbaldmanwalking.”

McQuown makes his way through Schley, Chattahoochee and Muscogee counties this week. He has 44 more state capitals to go. When he reaches California, he will board a cruise ship (his round-trip ticket was donated) and walk the deck until it reaches port in Hawaii.

You can also call Mac McQuown on his cell phone: 352-210-7836.

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