Walk Hard not easy but a worthy trek

Published 3:00 am Thursday, March 9, 2017

Troy University students are off for spring break this week, and most of them likely headed out for a week of fun as soon as their last class ended on Friday.

Many of them may have headed to the beach that weekend, but one group of Alpha Tau Omega brothers took a longer, harder, and ultimately more rewarding path to Panama City Beach this week.

The fraternity sent 37 brothers on a 128-mile hike from the university to the spring break destination to raise money for Jeep Sullivan’s Outdoor Adventures, a charity that provides hunting, fishing and fellowship opportunities for wounded warriors from the Wiregrass region.

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The brothers finally arrived in Panama City Beach last night with only four days now left before school starts back.

Along the way, the group heard from some of those wounded warriors they set out to help.

Dash Merritt, the director of the “Walk Hard for Heroes” walk, said that the sacrifices of the men and women who have served is what propels the brothers to continue on despite the hardships that come with walking so many miles in so few days.

The walk, Merritt said, gives the brothers that decided to participate a chance to reflect on who they are and why they’re taking on such hardship.

Jeep Sullivan said there’s nothing better than seeing these young men give up so much of their break and sacrificing comfort to raise awareness and funds for his charity.

Sullivan was right; it was a sight to behold. The energy was infectious as the brothers took their first steps down University Avenue on Friday, only matched by the celebration of the journey’s culmination yesterday.

These young men are a shining example for the others in our community. There is nothing better than seeing young people give up themselves for a greater cause.

And not just young people, but all of us should look at what these men and not just admire it, but seek to aspire to that level of commitment and sacrifice.

Merritt will tell you that it’s nothing compared what the members of our military have sacrificed for us, and that’s true. It’s something that their walk highlights and forces us to remember.

But the achievement of the walkers is honorable as well and they deserve to be honored just the same.