This Veteran Is Walking Because There’s Something He Wants Us To Know.

Eddie Gray is a warrior in more ways than one. He is a Marine veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan. He is also a member of the Cheyenne Tribe of Montana. These days, he is a warrior in another way as well. Gray has undertaken an epic journey on foot on behalf of his fellow veterans. He is walking the circumference of the United States to fight for his fellow veterans and to help everyday Americans see more personally and clearly the issues so many veterans are facing today.

Gray was raised in the traditions of the warring plains tribes. Those Plains People —like the Cheyenne and the various Lakota— each had warrior societies within their tribal cultures. It was, and still is, a great honor to be recognized as a warrior among them. In the warrior tradition they have also fought in every war that the United States has been in. They honored that tradition when they fought nobly in defense of their own lands and peoples against the American expansion as well. Because of this, Gray's transition into the “warrior society” of the United States Marine Corps went very smoothly.

But, like so many of his fellow veterans, upon returning home from war, he has struggled from the physical and psychological effects of war. That is why he has taken up this pilgrimage.

As Gray walks, he meets with veterans and hears their stories. These stories are often about difficulties they experience as a result of the bureaucratic hurdles they often encounter in their efforts to get the services they need from the VA. He also meets with local leaders and politicians to get them more involved and to take up their responsibilities in caring for those who have fought for the country and who are now suffering from either the physical or the psychological effects of their wartime experiences. Typically, the military members he meets along the way often help him with food and other supplies to keep him going.

The Veterans Site wishes to honor Eddie Gray's warrior spirit as well. Thank you for your service to the nation, Marine, both in war and in your efforts to help your fellow warriors across this country.

Semper Fidelis! Ooorah!

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Dan Doyle is a husband, father, grandfather, Vietnam veteran, and retired professor of Humanities at Seattle University. He taught 13 years at the high school level and 22 years at the university level. He spends his time now babysitting his granddaughter. He is a poet and a blogger as well. Dan holds an AA degree in English Literature, a BA in Comparative Literature, and an MA in Theology, and writes regularly for The Veterans Site blog.