On his way from Washington State to Washington, D.C. Marine and Navy veteran comes through Crookston.

    We all have issues that we’re passionate about, and we all have different ways of expressing our views on these issues, whether it’s politics or money or a particular cause.  How far would you go to express your views? Would you go to great lengths and distances? What about walking nearly 3,000 miles to promote and fundraise for your cause and, in the process, literally go to great lengths?  

    United States Marine Corps and United States Navy Reserve veteran Sgt. Chuck Lewis is definitely passionate about his cause and is raising money and awareness one step at a time for fallen veterans.  Chuck started this walk for awareness on March 31 and covers, on average, 22- 25 miles a day.  You might have seen Sgt. Lewis walking along U.S. Highway 2 Monday morning toward Crookston.

    Clad in an electric green t-shirt, shorts, a floppy straw hat and white and orange running shoes, Chuck is hard to miss with his characteristic cart adorned with various flags and a banner that reads "Walking for the Fallen." The veteran walked along Highway 2 with confidence, the Christian and American flag billowing in front of him in a symbol of patriotic pride. Set against a distinctive Minnesotan backdrop of extensive plains, blue, sunlit sky and fluffy white clouds, the Montana native said that “this [country] is the most beautiful” he’s seen so far, pointing out the “rolling plains and farms and pretty trees.”  Compared to where he’s been walking, including Washington, Montana and North Dakota, he said that Minnesota is “by far the prettiest [he’s been in] yet.”

    His cause-worthy journey started in Everett, Washington, and will extend to Washington, D.C., concluding at The Vietnam Veterans' Memorial.  His goal? To remind the American public that freedom is costly, and that it takes strong, courageous, selfless men and women to buy that freedom. Through this walk, Chuck hopes to “raise awareness, funding, and [to meet] America.” Another significant goal Sgt. Lewis hopes to accomplish is to raise $50,000, having already raised over $14,000, for fallen veterans and various programs that aid fallen veterans through donations.

    Although he’s had to face blisters, shin splints and a deadly duo of heavy rain and headwinds that can “make life pretty miserable," Lewis has enjoyed his journey so far and looks forward to the remainder of his trip across America.  He feels confident that the trip will "go according to God’s plan," and will continue across Highway 2 until turning south at Duluth. Sgt. Lewis feels buoyant that this journey will raise awareness for fallen veterans and help those who have helped so many.

    For more information about Chuck Lewis and how to donate toward his cause, visit walkingforthefallen.com.