A man is walking across the country to raise awareness for a program that's done so much to help his best friend.
Alastair McCandless is rallying support for the Wounded Warrior Project, a non-profit organization that provides physical and mental rehabilitative services to veterans wounded in Afghanistan and Iraq as they make the difficult adjustment back to civilian life.
McCandless began his journey in Delaware and has now walked more than 2,850 miles and raised over $10,000 for Wounded Warriors.
His charity hike follows the American Discovery Trail's norther route from the Mid-Atlantic Coast to the Pacific Ocean. It's the nation's only coast-to-coast, non-motorized recreational trail.
KJCT caught up with him in Orchard Mesa Wednesday morning as he was making the trek to Grand Junction.
"My best friend lost his left arm in Afghanistan and they helped him a great deal with some of the psychological issues that someone who's lost an arm or had a traumatic head injury deals with, coming home to the United States after war," McCandless said.
His best friend, Major Ken Dwyer, has served three tours of duty in Afghanistan with the U.S. Army's Special Forces. He was severely wounded in his third tour in 2006 when he was struck by an RPG, losing his left arm, left eye and many of his teeth.
"I felt this is something I could do as a friend to help him and to help others like him who have had serious injuries while serving in our military," said McCandless.
Dwyer expressed interest in taking part in a charity walk, but McCandless said that's he so tough, he's still serving in the army and he didn't have the time.
So, McCandless is walking in honor of Dwyer, and for all of the other wounded U.S. veterans.
"His recuperation was incredibly difficult for him and his family, but the Wounded Warrior Project was instrumental in helping him through that difficult time. They provided fun trip for Ken to take his mind off his injuries, while also providing counseling services for him and his wife to help with the mental toll such catastrophic injuries can take," McCandless said.
Alastair's journey concludes when he reaches Point Reyes National Seashore in California, which he expects will happen sometime in September.
If you would like to donate to help him raise money for the Wounded Warrior Project, you can either make a one-time donation or choose to pledge a certain amount for every state that McCandless completes on his journey by following this link:
All donations go to the Wounded Warrior Project and are tax deductible.