"Walking for Heroes" from Boston to Birmingham to Los Angeles - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Massachusetts man 'Walking for Heroes' from Boston to Birmingham to Los Angeles

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A Massachusetts man is walking cross-country in honor of war veterans. (abc3340.com) A Massachusetts man is walking cross-country in honor of war veterans. (abc3340.com)

A Massachusetts man is walking across Alabama this week in honor of veterans.

Carl Wentworth calls it "Walking for Heroes", as he takes steps to support veterans and asks other to take a stand for service men and women.  He will reach Birmingham tomorrow as part of the cross country trip that started in Boston on Veteran's Day.  He hopes to reach Los Angeles for the Fourth of July.

"If you told me I'd be in Alabama when I started, I would have told you no way," Wentworth said.

He's a 47-year-old handyman from Worcester, Massachusetts.  His father served three tours of duty in Vietnam as well as another in Korea, and retired from the Army as a staff sergeant.  Many other relatives also served in the military.

"I'd like to open up some eyes and maybe show the country that we need to respect and honor these men and women that give so much," he said.

"Seeing homeless veterans on the street played a role in it.  Listening to their stories, a lot of which are pretty sad, and it all came together.  I just decided I'm going to walk across the country in their honor and to raise awareness."

Wentworth packed a tent and other supplies into a cart and began his journey.  He first walked to Long Island to visit his father's grave.  He said he had a hard time following his father's death to get a proper military burial, but he was finally successful.  The visit as part of this trip was his first time back to the cemetery since the funeral.

He continued to Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia to honor the members of the armed forces buried there.  Then Wentworth walked on into the southeast, reaching Georgia before heading west.

"There's definitely no turning back now considering who and what I'm doing it for.  Giving up is not an option," he said.

The staff at Talladega Superspeedway heard about Wentworth's trip from a media report in Atlanta, and invited him to visit the track for a tour.  He took a brief break from walking Wednesday morning and accepted a ride in a pace car.

"I'm at a loss for words, I'm still at wow," he said while standing on pit row.

He hopes the drivers who pass him on the side of the road will not go as fast, and will watch out for him.

"I've had a lot of close calls.  If people would get off their telephone and pay attention while they drive, I would feel a lot better," Wentworth said.

He said he often quietly says thank yous to passing drivers when they give him space, and asks that people express gratitude when they see a veteran.

"Thank a vet and give these men and women more respect," he said.

You can follow his journey and see photos of hundreds of the people he met, including ABC 33/40's Robert Richardson, Lincoln mayor Bud Kitchin, and New England Patriots wide receiver Mark Harrison, on the "Walking for Heroes" Facebook page.

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