Thomas Wayne Hudson of Las Vegas, Nevada, is a disabled veteran who is currently walking across America to help raise awareness about the abuse and neglect scandals associated with the Veterans Administration.
Hudson was in Jasper on Monday and stopped to talk with several folks along his journey.
“This walk is important, because every time Congress hears something shocking about the VA, they simply call the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, slap his hand and everything goes back to status quo,” Hudson said. “Meanwhile, we have veterans who are dying while having to wait for long periods of time for care.”
Hudson’s walk began May 2 in Las Vegas and will conclude with a rally in Washington, D.C., on Veterans Day. He does have to hitch a ride occasionally, but for the most part, he has walked the entire route.
“The purpose of the walk is to bring awareness to the many issues veterans have with the VA and to get our congressional leaders to make the necessary changes,” Hudson said. “But it has also become a learning experience.”
Hudson was in a wheelchair only a year ago while waiting to have surgery for carcinoid cancer and battling the VA along the way to get the medical treatment he needed.
Throughout his journey across America, he has learned of other veterans who have faced issues in regards to their health care as well.
“I have learned a lot from other veterans, and no veteran should ever have to walk across America to beg for help,” Hudson said. “We might not be able to do a lot but we’re going to try — one step at a time.”
The 63-year-old Hudson is known for his compassion to fight for and help veterans and their families. He is the founder of VeteransMarch.org and Help-a-Vet on Facebook, with membership in the thousands.
“If we fall into a mind-set of apathy then nothing will ever be done and the status quo will prevail,” Hudson said. “When I get to Washington they will know who I am, and I plan to tell Congress if they are not with the veterans who have served this country and their families, then they’re fired!”
For more information about the Walking Veteran and his mission, visit www.WalkingVeteran.com or go to www.Facebook.com/WalkingVeteran.