Buddy Watch Walk – Pier to Pier
Saturday 30, 2020 (9:35 a.m. PST)
On October 1, 2019, John Ring, Infantryman, Georgia Army National Guard, left the Tybee Island Pier in Georgia to walk across the country to raise awareness to Veteran issues. During his journey, Veterans have joined him to support the cause. U.S. Army, Retired MSG, Jimmy Mathews, U.S. Navy Veteran, Jason Hanner, and U.S. Army Veteran, Abram Tusker. Supported by the National American Legion, and various Veterans of Foreign War Posts, and community members these gentleman hit a road block in California. Having been supported by local, county, and state law enforcement, California is the only state to ignore these Veterans and their mission.
The next time I share this graphic will be on #June14th when we complete this journey for our #brothers and #sisters.
We have been met with resistance moving into California, but as current and prior service members, we have learned that no obstacle is too big. Our mission will be completed.
Yesterday, while on a conference call with Cal Trans and CHP, they denied our permit request to walk on I10 through California. We have yet to hear back from Governor Gavin Newsome on this matter.
I was told the denial was for safety reasons and hot desert conditions. Their alternative is to keep us off the interstate and make us walk on electrical pole desert roads approximately 250 yards from the interstate.
Much of these roads are inaccessible without a very reliable 4X4. To compromise, I requested for CHP to provide us transportation to and from our starting and ending points. That was also denied.
I ended the call by saying, “You denied this for desert heat conditions, but want to push us further into the desert with no support and more dangerous nature conditions. It doesn’t make sense. How would I look leading three veterans into those conditions and something going wrong?” The response was basically, “Can we help you with anything else?”
To complete this journey, we are going to walk that route with no support from the agencies that could assist. However, we will have the support of community members and veterans for over 70 miles of the worst terrain. We will have a vehicle with us as we walk.
We would like to personally thank everyone that took a stand and realized the importance of what we are doing. Thank you Senator Grove, Assemblyman Garcia, and all California elected officials that attempted to help our cause. We are thankful for your efforts, and we hope to shake your hand as we travel through the state of California.
I said from the very beginning of this mission, if walking 2,462 miles saves one Veterans life, it would be worth it. If walking approximately 250 miles through California in these conditions saves one Veterans life, it will be worth it.