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The Walk of America: Q&A with Adele Loar
Veteran Adele Loar tells us about participating in The Walk of America
Can you start by telling us a little about yourself – where you're from, and how you got involved in Walking with the Wounded and the upcoming Walk of America?
I live in Narragansett, Rhode Island, which is where I grew up. I was wounded in 2006, while serving in Iraq. Another former co-worker, who was also wounded, had contacted me about Walking with the Wounded and said she believed I would be a great fit. She had participated in the South Pole expedition and she said I wouldn't regret participating with this organization. So, I did some online research about the organization and then I applied. I am so thankful that I was selected to participate in this expedition.
What does being involved with the project mean to you?
I am so excited to be able to possibly help many Veterans, throughout our walk. The best people to learn about the organizations out there that can help, are people who have used them. Also, I hope people will learn it is ok to ask for help and there is nothing weak in asking for it.
How does it feel to be working as part of a US/UK Transatlantic team?
I am thrilled to be walking with the British and Americans during this walk. I have deployed numerous times and worked with the British, so this only seems natural that we will be working on healing together too.
Walking across a country the size of America is a big challenge, with plenty of different weather patterns and terrains. What are you looking forward to, what are you perhaps nervous about, ahead of such a big walk?
I am excited to see the National Monuments along the way (like Mount Rushmore) and to walk through States I have never been to. I think it is an awesome and unique way to see the US.
How does the walk compare to the other challenges you've faced in your life?
Walking Across America is going to be a long, slow process with amazing people supporting us. I feel like it will be like my healing from my injuries; even when I may want to quit, I need to continue and it will be worth it in the end. I have no doubt it will be a life changing event.
How are you getting on with those small US/UK cultural - and language - differences within the team?
I have had limited interaction with the UK team, but I don't foresee any big problems with our cultural differences.
Have you met Prince Harry? How has he helped the project, and how is he inspiring you as you prepare for the big walk?
I did meet Prince Harry and I was impressed at his dedication to help out Veterans and his desire to speak out about the invisible wounds, faced by all soldiers. Obviously, with his high level of prestige and the ability to gain media coverage, it is really helpful to spread the word. Knowing he will probably keep track of the team throughout our journey, it makes it even more important to train hard, to be able to make the full walk, in the hopes of helping others along the way.
What's the first thing you'll do when you reach New York?
I have no idea what I will do when we reach NY, but I know I will be thrilled and I will probably shout with joy and hug the entire team.
Do you have any advice or words of wisdom to help others in times of need?
If you are in need of help, don't be afraid to ask for it. There are so many organizations out there, that can help you live a better life. Also, your family and friends want to be there to help you, but they don't know what you need, unless you tell them.
What aspect of being involved in the walk are you most proud of?
I am most proud of being one of the three representing the US on this expedition and in the hope that sharing my story will possibly help other Veterans.
The Walk of America sets off from California on June 2, with the team set to arrive in New York on September 6th. Find out how to support the Veterans, donate and learn more about Walking with the Wounded at www.wwtw.org.uk/WOA.
Check out our other Q&As with the team below.