Walk for Veterans

Retired USMC Master Sgt. Marvin Haas, a WWII, Korean War and Vietnam War veteran, rides in a jeep at the 2018 Walk For Veterans in Pine Knoll Shores, N.C.

American Legion Morehead City Post 46 will sponsor an Awareness Walk for Veterans (W4V) on June 22 at 10:30am with registration beginning at 9:30 a.m. The walk will take place at Garner Park in Pine Knoll Shores, N.C. The event aims to raise public awareness of issues facing veterans and their families. The walk will begin immediately following the opening ceremony at approximately 10:45.

The length of the walk is approximately one mile and will start and end at Garner Park. Proceeds will benefit the American Legion’s National Emergency Fund and other national, state, and local American Legion programs golf carts, bicycles, and pets on leashes are welcome. Following the walk, registered participants are invited to stay for a free picnic lunch and drawing for door prizes and our grand prize drawing for a fishing kayak. Non-registered visitors may join in the picnic lunch for a small donation.

This year Post 46 will be joined by the newly established Veterans Coalition of the Crystal Coast (VCCC). The VCCC is a coalition of Veteran organizations, community service providers and personnel dedicated to the prevention of Veteran suicide. VA health care representatives will be on site to answer questions about local VA health care resources. A VA District Service Officer and a local County Veteran Service Officer will be available to answer general questions concerning Veterans claims for benefits to provide VA resource guides, and to provide information to pair a Veteran with the correct resource provider.

The awareness walk will also have counselors from the Jacksonville Vet Center, Operation Gratitude and We Honor Veterans. The post will also be hosting Gold Star Mother Maria Myers, a local Gold Star Mother who aims to establish a Gold Star Family monument that features two sides. One side bears the words: Gold Star Families Memorial Monument, a tribute to Gold Star Families and relatives who have sacrificed a Loved One for our Freedom. The other side tells a story through the four granite panels: homeland, family, patriot, and sacrifice. The scenes on each panel are a reflection of each community’s Gold Star Families and their fallen Heroes. At the center of this tribute is the most distinct feature of the monument, a cut out which represents the loved one who paid the ultimate sacrifice in the name of freedom.

            Anyone, including non-registered visitors, may purchase door prize tickets and/or tickets for the grand prize fishing kayak. Door prize and kayak raffle tickets will be on sale at the park beginning at 9am and continue until the drawing begins.

            The registration fee for participants is $15. Each registered participant will receive a Walk for Veterans t-shirt, one (1) door prize drawing ticket, a small American flag, an American flag decal, and a W4V decal.

Those who have not pre-registered may sign up on the morning of the event between 9 and 10:30am at Garner Park. Walk packets will be available for all participants during this time, and registration fees will be collected. To pre-register, visit the Facebook page AmericanLegionMoreheadCityPost46, americanlegionmhc.org, or email americanlegionpost46mhc@gmail.com. Veterans who cannot afford the registration fee will be covered by American Legion Post 46 and given an opportunity to meet VA representatives and local service providers.

Veterans who do not have a means of transportation to the event may call the Carteret County Area Transportation System (CCATS) for a free ride to and from the event. Those needing a ride must call CCATS (252-240-1043) at least 24 hours in advance to schedule the ride. The fee will be paid by the American Legion Post 46 and the Veterans Coalition of the Crystal Coast.