Former Marine makes cross-country stop in Tuscaloosa - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Former Marine makes cross-country stop in Tuscaloosa

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Former Marine Brendan O'Toole is running across the country for veterans. (abc3340.com) Former Marine Brendan O'Toole is running across the country for veterans. (abc3340.com)
TUSCALOOSA - AL -

You'd think because Brendan O'Toole spent four years in the military...he loves to run but, think again... "I didn't like running but it's the closest thing I can relate to guys who have prosthetic legs on the road," says O'Toole.

After the Marine Corp, O'Toole began the 'Run For Veterans' non-profit organization.  He's running 3,600 miles from California to Maine with a goal of collecting $2 million dollars in donations for fellow veterans. "Find services that can help our veterans so, by doing that running across America."

O'Toole and his crew made a stop in Tuscaloosa to rest his feet for the Fourth of July holiday.

He wants to help fellow troops returning home ill or as amputees.

He says he's been turned down for post-war treatment so he can relate.

"Your body gets beat up, so I require some military services and basically with the VA system being back logged right now, paper a little disorganized -- they weren't able to meet the needs that I required from my time in the service. So that no kind of affected me, my friends,  and community and got us out here."

O'Toole is more than half-way on his run for veterans. So far, he's raised about 80-thousand dollars...

A knee and ankle injury put him behind about a month. But, the one thing he learned as a Marine while serving...never give up. "Having put my feet in the soil of Afghanistan and return a good fight, was a proud moment for me but at some point these wars will end and we'll have to deal with the issues that come from them and that's what I'm most concerned about right now and what makes me continue to run every single day."

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