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The Walk of America: Q&A with Larry Hinkle
Veteran Larry Hinkle 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’m from the DFW (Dallas Fort Worth) area in TX... born and raised. I walked across the US in 2016 serving veterans and first responders. Through that, I became an alumni of the Wounded Warrior Project. WWP presented me with the information on Walk Of America. I applied and made it through the screening and I couldn’t be more excited to be here.
What does being involved with the project mean to you?
Being part of this project is still surreal to me. It’s like making it to the major leagues and going straight to the World Series - haha! Being able to serve our brothers and sisters with other brothers and sisters (from across the pond) is a dream come true. Our allies not only take on the mission, but take on an even bigger mission in the recovery afterwards.
How does it feel to be working as part of a US/UK Transatlantic team?
I’m pumped to be a part of the UK/US team. We got to interact with some British Forces (in passing) in Al Basra, Iraq. That’s when I first realized that we were together in this fight. We were family from different lands with one mission and I definitely see the similarities here.
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’m definitely ready to meet some unbelievable people in some unbelievable places. The rain is no fun to walk in, but it certainly builds character. I think Yellowstone will be a great experience with the team.
How does the walk compare to the other challenges you've faced in your life?
The walk is the epitome of life... keep pushing forward even when you feel sore, tired and run down. Good things come from hard work and determination. The obstacles along the way are what will make the journey.
How are you getting on with those small US/UK cultural - and language - differences within the team?
I’m getting along great with the small cultural differences. It’s always fun learning new ways to say things.
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 haven’t met Prince Harry. I think it’d be great to meet him and shake his hand. His selfless service to his country says a lot about his character... especially, his continued service to his brothers and sisters after war.
What's the first thing you'll do when you reach New York?
I can’t wait to walk throughout New York. The best way to see somewhere is to walk it and take it all in.
Do you have any advice or words of wisdom to help others in times of need?
My advice for anyone looking to serve people is that it doesn’t cost a thing to volunteer your time. Hug the neck of a vet or first responder and tell them what their selfless service means to you and your family.
What aspect of being involved in the walk are you most proud of?
The aspect that our veteran family has no borders is what I love most about being on the team. We all fought the same war, we all heal the same way and that’s through our veteran family!
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.