BOLIVAR, Mo. – Ken Brock literally had a little trouble gaining traction last week on his 2,664-mile odyssey to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.
He not only had to buy two pairs of shoes, he had to replace both tires on the cart he uses to carry supplies and his service dog, Pam.
“I had two flat tires,” Brock said after he inched ever-closer to Kansas City. “I wore them out. And I’ve gone through five pairs of shoes. I’ve been struggling a little bit with shin splints, too. It’s been challenging, but we’re pushing on.”
Brock left Amvets Post 86 in Keystone Heights on Feb. 1 on a cross-country journey to raise awareness to Wounded Warrior Project. The Army veteran said WWP empowered him to work through his post traumatic stress disorder to complete the five-month walk. And it’s a story that continues to grow in the miles ahead.
“I get stopped 10 times a day on the side of the road by people who want to thank me or take a picture,” he said. “Every town I come to, it’s like they’re waiting on me. The people absolutely motivate me.”
He stopped at a mall in Springfield, Mo., to buy new shoes. A group of five girls recognized him from a television interview, and they asked if they could take their picture with him.
“That was a real shocker,” he said. “I can’t believe this is happening. They knew my entire story.”
Brock was 137 miles from Kansas City Wednesday morning. Once he reaches that milestone, he will have a couple months of flat terrain.
“I will be able to do 30-35 miles a day once I finally get out of the Ozarks,” he said.
He plans to arrive at Coeur d’Alene by July 4.
With 1,043 miles down, he still has 1,621 to go.
“Meeting people wasn’t something I expected,” Brock said. “But it keeps me going.”
Along with new shoes.