LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE)- An Iraq war veteran returned home today from a personal mission to raise money for military families in need. Troy Yocum spent the last 16 months hiking across the United States. He took off on foot from the Louisville Slugger Museum in April, 2010. Today he finished his last mile back at the museum with a crowd of people supporting him.
"What a journey!" Yocum said, "I've had a lot of time to think about what I was going to say today."
Yocum's journey began when he realized the struggles many of his veteran soldiers faced when returning home. "My good friend lost his job, lost his house, was suicidal. It made me think about all these other families going through the same thing right now with our economy. I've walked through states where unemployment for veterans is 30%."
Yocum's walk has raised over $500,000 and has helped 60 military families so far.
Sergeant Josh Ponds was at today's event and accepted with great gratitude, a check for $7500. "Words can't express how much it means" Ponds said.
Mayor Greg Fischer was on hand to designate the day "Troy Yocum Day". Yocum hopes it's a day that's remembered long after the excitement settles. He hopes his journey leaves a lasting footprint of inspiration.
As he signs the huge bat outside of the Slugger Museum, he says "we did it", but reminds the crowd, there's much more to be done.
To help military families that are struggling financially, you can find out more at www.wishuponaherofoundation.org