Veterans Walking from NC to CA to Help Fellow Service Members


Two veterans will walk from North Carolina to California to help their fellow brothers and sisters in arms.

"Our main focus is that we want to be on a grassroots approach to those who have served us," said former Sgt. Larry Hinkle.

Hinkle, a self-proclaimed "Hollywood Marine," served with the U.S. Marine Corps at Camp Pendleton in California from 2000 to 2004. His co-walker, Jocelyn Cupido, was a specialist with the U.S. Army.

The two have been training for the past three months for the cross-country trek that will highlight veteran needs and assist them along the way.

Hinkle said they plan to take breaks when needed and that could mean resting three times per 20 miles or resting 12, depending on the day. Sometimes, you just can't ice your muscles enough and you burn a lot of nutrients and calories, Hinkle added.

So why walk 2,640 miles?

"I know, it sounds insane, doesn't it?" Hinkle said, laughing. "We want to show how dedicated we are to this cause."

It all started in Dallas, Texas where Hinkle was helping veterans who were homeless, veterans who needed clothes and one well-known veteran, 94-year-old World War II veteran R.V. Burgin, who wanted a garden but wasn't able to dig and plant.

Hinkle said he thought, "Hey, let's take this across the country," and the idea was born.

Hinkle stayed in Jacksonville for about a week to help in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene when he worked as an insurance adjuster. The military town came to mind when he began planning the walk.

"I just knew when we started thinking about the hump, there's no better place to start it than in Jacksonville, North Carolina," Hinkle said.

The group will be aided by a third man, Daniel Foster, a musician and the person who will help Hinkle and Cupido do it all. Foster will be driving the 31-foot trailer that all three of them will live in for the duration of the journey.

Hinkle said with two veterans and a musician, the group is used to close quarters. Using the trailer will also help with funding since the group won't need to worry about hotel fees.

Hinkle and Cupido will trek the 20 daily miles before stopping at local VFWs, nursing homes and Salvation Army locations, among other places, every day. Foster will also be helping veterans, Hinkle said, including playing music at the bedsides of terminal patients. The group plans to take Sundays off to recuperate each week.

Basically, Hinkle said, if the group sees someone in need, they'll try to fix it. The walking aspect is to gain notoriety and get the word out.

Hinkle and Cupido plan to step off on their journey Sunday morning around 8 a.m. from the Wilson Gate at Camp Lejeune and walk to the Memorial Gardens, located at Lejeune Boulevard and Montford Landing Road, where there will be a send-off rally. The public is invited to help send them off.

Hinkle said the pair will finish another 18 miles for the day following the rally.

Updates of the group's progress will be uploaded by Foster on the Phase Line Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts. They expect the journey to take about 27 weeks to complete and hope to make it to Camp Pendleton in California by Sept. 28.

Those who'd like to donate may do so through the Buy a Mile Campaign. Miles are available for $15 each to assist the group across the country and help them provide assistance to veterans. To purchase a mile visit

Hinkle said if every mile of the journey is purchased they'll have about $40,000, which should fund the entire trip.

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