Small towns embrace Brock’s big heart as he continues his journey for WWP

By Don Coble Managing Editor
Posted 3/27/19

MOUNTAIN GROVE, Mo. – A police car was waiting at the city line Tuesday when Ken Brock reached town. Police Chief Danny Bledsoe was waiting.

“When he found out who I was, he said he was there …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Don't have an ID?


Print subscribers

If you're a print subscriber, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one.

Non-subscribers

Click here to see your options for subscribing.

Single day pass

You also have the option of purchasing 24 hours of access, for $1.00. Click here to purchase a single day pass.

Small towns embrace Brock’s big heart as he continues his journey for WWP

Posted

MOUNTAIN GROVE, Mo. – A police car was waiting at the city line Tuesday when Ken Brock reached town. Police Chief Danny Bledsoe was waiting.

“When he found out who I was, he said he was there to give me as escort into town,” Brock said. “He knew I was supposed to meet some people for pizza and he wanted to make sure I’d get there.”

Bledsoe gave Brock a hero’s welcome. His siren blared, his blue lights flashed. Soon, a second patrol car joined in the procession. He trailed the wandering Army veteran with the same kind of overwhelming support.

“Wow,” Brock said. “I can’t believe what’s happening. This blows me away.”

Brock left Amvets Post 86 in Keystone Heights on Feb. 1 on a 2,664-mile trek to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, with his service dog, Pam, to raise awareness to Wounded Warrior Project. While he wants to bring attention to the work done at WWP, the walk also has been part of his own therapy since he now feels empowered to step outside his cocoon of doubt and depression that too often comes with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Suddenly, the word is getting out.

He’s often stopped on the roadside by people who’ve heard his amazing story. Police always stop to take pictures and offer help. Small towns like Mountain Grove open their arms to embrace his resilience. And the media can’t get enough, either.

He’s done several television, radio and newspaper interviews. Each one seems to spark interest on the road ahead.

“Everyone has been phenomenal this past week,” Brock said. “They know what I’m doing. Sometimes people are waiting on me. I did a newspaper story [on Tuesday] and when it was over, they had already got me a hotel room. I’m not out here looking for freebies. I’m just trying to do the right thing. What I’m out here doing is making a difference. And I’m thrilled to do it.”

Which means inching closer to the finish line ahead of his self-imposed July 4 deadline.

Brock got 108 miles closer in the last week, and that included being sidetracked by more than five miles last Monday. His GPS sent him to the tiny countryside town of Willow Spring, Mo., instead of keeping him on track to Mountain Grove. It cost him a day, “but it was really beautiful there,” Brock said.

By the time he reached Mountain Grove, he already had already walked 934 miles. Only 1,730 to go.

Brock hoped to make it through a couple days of expected heavy rain to reach Springfield by Saturday. After that, it’s downhill – literally – to Kansas City.

“There are a couple more tough hills between here and Springfield,” Brock said. “But for the most part, I’m on the backside of the Ozark Mountains. Once I get past Springfield, it will be flat for weeks.”

You can follow Brock’s progress on his Facebook page. All donations will be forwarded to WWP, Brock said.

Comments

No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment