Henry McCoy »

Out for a Stroll

A couple of days ago I got a message from a friend on Facebook telling me about a soldier who was walking across the United States.  Yes, I said walking across the United States.  Let that sink in for a second.  Ok, now clear the image of Forrest Gump out of your head.  I immediately looked up his Facebook page.  After I absorbed the information from there, I headed over to his blog to get more.  I learned about Matt Parrish, a medic for the Army, and his courageous trek across the country to raise money and awareness for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation.

The Special Operations Warrior Foundation is a non-profit organization who provides assistance to children who have lost a parent while serving for the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps Special Operations during an operational or training mission. This includes some 50,000 military special operations and support personnel in the United States and overseas.

After reading his blog, the foundation’s website, and the Facebook page, I knew that I needed to photograph this soldier while I could.  I left a message on his page and we met up Tuesday afternoon when he made it to Ruston.  We visited for a little bit to let the sun get right before heading off to take some photos.  My friend Jonathan Ford came along to help and also recorded a short interview.  Jonathan and Donald Page were gracious to offer him a place to stay for the night.  It also opened another opportunity for Donald to take a few photos as well.

Matt is one of the nicest guys I have had the opportunity to meet.  He left the comfort of air conditioning, a bed, and the smiling face of his son behind to do what he feels God is telling him to do.  He is walking from Tampa, Florida to Los Angeles, California and back.  The round trip is expected to take about a year to complete.  He started with a full pack of essential gear on his back, an iPhone, a direction, and most importantly…his faith.  He has been in the news and has found an amazing amount of support along the way.  One of his supporters donated a jogging stroller to carry his gear and take the load off his back.  He also has supporters at New Balance and Magnum Boots who provide him with much needed shoes.  He showed me a pair of New Balance shoes that had about 750 miles on them.  They were worn thin and without any tread.

I am honored to have met Matt and learned about his journey.  Please take a moment to read about his mission and make a donation.

•  Jonathan Ford’s Interview •  Donald Page’s Photos
•  Trek for Hope Facebook Page •  Trek for Hope Website •  Make a Donation

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  • April 14, 2011 - 8:06 am

    Noise – Donald Page | Blog - […] it from the man himself, so I am happy to point you to the man himself, and my other two friends, Henry and Jonathan, who are also helping tell this great […]

  • April 14, 2011 - 8:10 am

    Anna-Karin - Very nice Henry!
    Nice to learn about and good job on the photography.
    The lighting is great and especially on the 5th image.

  • April 14, 2011 - 9:33 am

    Lindsey Mckenzie - Matt is a true inspiration! I came acroos him on hwy 80 in start,la last sat.He was sitting on the side of the road and me being a military wife, turned around to see if he needed a ride!This is when he told me what he was doing.For the rest of the day I told everyone his story and how much he made a dimple on my mind and heart!People like Matt Parrish are far and few in these days!Thanks for the blog on him and i hope he comes same woute when heading home!God bless Matt and may he walk beside you in your travels!

  • April 14, 2011 - 10:02 am

    Richard Avery, LTC (ret) - Thanks for the photos of my cousin Matt Parrish. This was sent to me by his Mother. Matt comes from a very large family. We are proud of him!

    Thanks again for your good deed.

    Richard Avery, LTC (ret)

  • April 14, 2011 - 10:46 am

    kacey holifield - My husband and I were fortunatly enough to have Matt in our home. What an amazing Man! A true blessing to so many! These photos are absolutly BEAUTIFUL and really do bring out the spirit of Matt. GREAT JOB!!!! Amazing!

  • April 14, 2011 - 4:22 pm

    Charlotte - Those are great pictures and an awesome message. 🙂

  • April 14, 2011 - 9:42 pm

    Debbie - This is a great story. Would have been great for Mandi’s Exhibition.

  • April 15, 2011 - 1:28 pm

    KB - Familiar road . . . .
    Thoroughly enjoyed these Hen. Glad you heard and blogged about it!
    Matt Parrish is one amazing person!

  • April 15, 2011 - 1:29 pm

    KB - BTW you really lit him well!

  • April 20, 2011 - 2:15 am

    LaNeal Avery Alred - What amazing pictures of an amazing man…lucky to have him as my cousin!!

  • June 8, 2011 - 12:47 pm

    Matt’s Trek for Hope Update » Henry McCoy Photography - […] and back to raise donations and awareness for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation.  You can read the original post here. He has already walked over 1800 miles with about 850 more to go before turning around and doing it […]

  • March 7, 2012 - 10:29 pm

    A true American walks through Ruston | JFord.net - […] Facebook Page – Trek For Hope Blog – Make a donation to Special Operations Warrior Foundation – Henry McCoy’s photos of Matt – Donald Page’s photos of […]

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