SAN ANTONIO - Former Marine Larry Hinkle is on a journey.
He is walking across Texas with a purpose... to meet the men and women who fought for him and to remind fellow veterans, active military and first responders they are not alone.
“It’s about giving back,” Hinkle said. “It’s about getting in the trenches with your brothers and your sisters.”
Last year, the retired Marine walked from last Camp Lejeune to Camp Pendleton, a 2,700-mile trek.
This year, his mission is Texas, all of it. Along the way, he plans to meet veterans to start a conversation and spread awareness about the battles veterans face every day.
It's a journey he's calling the "Lone Star Hump," a 16-city tour where he'll average 10 miles a day and have hundreds of interactions.
Hinkle’s message is simple. He wants to remind people that it doesn’t cost a thing to show appreciation for those who have dedicated their lives to protect us.
Hinkle said the idea came from several experiences in his life. He once sat with 94-year-old World War II veteran who shared his story with him.
The experience moved him and he hopes to help share the same feelings of honor and pride he felt with others he meets along the way.
“It’s to hug the necks of theses first responders, these veterans, these active duty military members and let them know what they mean to us and let them know that their selfless service is certainly appreciated,” he said.
In light of the tragic loss of officer Miguel Moreno back in June, Hinkle especially wanted to stop by the San Antonio Police Department and share his message of hope.
Hinkle took gift cards to the officers to help cover a meal.
After working tirelessly through the night investigating the murder of a 4-year-old child, SAPD spokesman Sgt. Jesse Salame said he would share the gift cards with the detectives in homicide.
“We’ll be sure to share that and tell them about your story, your journey,” Salame said. “Your gift of kindness is going to a long way, especially today.”
Hinkle said that it’s about lightening the load and little bit by taking care of a meal and hopefully making them smile.
“The more I do this, I understand that that’s a service to your brother and your sister for the rest of your life,” Hinkle said. “That doesn’t stop the day that you get out. It’s why I’m here; being back with my brothers and sisters.”
You can follow Hinkle's journey by clicking here.
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