Iraq War veteran Troy Yocum is hiking a small part of Route 66 during his cross-country quest to raise money for Soldiers’ Angels, a charity that provides financial aid to military families, according to the Bloomington (Ill.) Pantagraph.
Yocum was hiking south and banging his drum on old Route 66 to Pontiac, Ill., on Monday, and planned to stay on the Mother Road until St. Louis. He’ll then head due west toward Los Angeles, away from 66, then head southeast to San Antonio. He plans to end his Hike for Our Heroes trek where it started — Louisville, Ky. — in August 2011.
His eventual goal is to raise $5 million for the charity. He’s been raising $1,000 a day so far.
The inspiration for the journey came from a friend and fellow Iraq War veteran. The business where his friend worked closed during his deployment. His friend later tried to sell his house, only to find no buyer. He filed for bankruptcy and became despondent.
Yocum said he contacted charities to help, but many said the same thing: Thousands of military families are applying for financial assistance and there isn’t enough money. That’s when Yocum said he knew he had to help.
Here’s his sole YouTube video so far:
Side note: Yocum attempted a world record for drumming the longest. He didn’t make it, and he postponed a second attempt when he embarked on his current 7,000-mile journey.