Local Frat Brothers Give Up Spring Break to Help Wounded Soldiers

The Alpha Tau Omega at Troy University is looking to break six digits during their annual fundraising walk to Panama City this Spring Break. The walk will kick off at 8 a.m. at Troy University on March 11 and wrap up at 4 p.m. March 16.

According to Alumni Kyle Elliot, the group raised around $90,000 during last year’s Walk Hard event. The money raised goes to support wounded veterans.

“We teamed up with Jeep Sullivan Wounded Outdoor Adventures,” Elliot said. “Sullivan takes the wounded veterans on hunting retreats and helps give them a sense of normalcy.”

The event started in 2009 with four guys walking from the quad at Troy University in Troy 128.3 miles to Pier Park in Panama City, Florida. Two of the original four completed the trip.

“I couldn’t walk right for a month after my last trip,” Elliot confessed.

He has been completing the walk for several years now and the group has grown from four to around 36.

“Everyone has completed the journey since I have been do it,” Elliot said. “We have has people finish the walk with sprained ankles and even some with diabetes that the doctors advised to stop. Everyone is really dedicated to this cause.”

Austin Herbert is from Highland Home and is attending Troy University. This will be his first year participating in the walk.

“I have several reasons for participating,” Herbert said. “I have family members in the military. I am not just doing this for them but for all the veterans.”

Tyler Powell of Luverne has also participated in the walk in the past. Hunter Mount from Highland home will also give up his Spring Break to participate in the walk.

Mathew Taylor participated in the 2019 Walk Hard event. “Definetly a lot of soreness and joint pain, blisters, being really uncomfortable and metally challenging,” he said about the journey. “It gives you some sense of what these veterans go through. Brothers going though pain together and overcoming it. (lowpricebud.com) We are fighting with one another to make it to that beach in Panama City, just like these veterans are out there fighting for our freedom. It is no where to the extent that they do but it gives us a small idea of what they go through.”

Anyone willing to donate towards the cause can visit www. walkhard.info or contact the Walk Hard Director, Mathew Taylor at atowalkhard1865@gmail.com or visit the designated donation page at ato.crowdchange.co/27085. Donations can be made to individual walkers or to the group as a whole.