PHOTOS: Iraq Vet Hikes 7,000 Miles Across Nation to Raise $5 Million

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By John Crosby, Camp Atterbury Public Affairs

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Indianapolis Mayor Gregory A. Ballard signs Iraq War veteran Troy Yocum’s Louisville Slugger baseball bat in petition to create a new national holiday recognizing and honoring deployed Soldiers called “Day of the Deployed”, at the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon in downtown Indianapolis. Yocum is currently hiking 7,000 miles across the nation to raise $5 million for struggling veterans and their families. He plans on presenting Congress with the signed bats to make the holiday nationally recognized. (U.S. Army photo by John Crosby)

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Iraq War veteran Troy Yocum, holding the drum, is accompanied by friends and family as he walks 7,000 miles across the country in a charity outreach effort dubbed the “Drum Hike”, aimed at raising $5 million for struggling veterans and their families. Pictured at Camp Atterbury in front of the RV that was donated to them for their 7,000-mile “Drum Hike” are Vietnam War veteran and two-time Purple Heart Medal recipient Dallas Wittgenfeld, holding the American flag and specially made Drum Hike flag, Yocum’s wife Mareike, holding Yocum’s trained therapy dog Emmie, and Terry Carmickle, emergency medical technician and longtime friend. (U.S. Army photo by John Crosby)

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Emmie, a Penny’s From Heaven Foundation certified therapy dog, is an honorary member of the “Drum Hike”, a 7,000-mile trek across the country to raise $5 million for struggling veterans and their families. Emmie is a Japanese Shiba Inu, born in Japan and shipped to the U.S. She is trained to provide companionship to returning wounded servicemen and women, children testifying to sexual and physical abuse, children’s hospitals, adult hospitals, retirement homes, long-term care facilities, rehabilitation hospitals etc. (U.S. Army photo by John Crosby)

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Iraq War veteran Troy Yocum marches through Franklin, Ind., May 7 as he continues on his 7,000-mile hike across America to raise $5 million in donations for struggling veterans and their families. Yocum began the hike in Louisville, Ky., and is scheduled to finish back in Louisville in August 2011 after trekking across the nation. (U.S. Army photo by John Crosby)

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Iraq War veteran Troy Yocum and his dog Emmie stand with Vietnam War veteran and two-time Purple Heart Medal recipient Dallas Wittgenfeld at the Camp Atterbury Rock at the Camp Atterbury Joint Maneuver Training Center in central Indiana. Yocum and Wittgenfeld are both veterans of the Indiana National Guard’s 151st Infantry Regiment. Yocum is walking 7,000 miles across the country in a charity outreach effort dubbed the “Drum Hike”, aimed at raising $5 million for struggling veterans and their families. (U.S. Army photo by John Crosby)

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Iraq War veteran Troy Yocum receives donations into his ammunition can in Franklin, Ind., during his 7,000-mile walk across America dubbed the “Drum Hike”, a charity outreach aimed at raising $5 million for struggling veterans and their families. The ammunition can was a gift to him from Vietnam War veteran and two-time Purple Heart Medal recipient Dallas Wittgenfeld. Wittgenfeld personally used the ammunition can to collect the first donations for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, used to build the Vietnam Memorial in Washington D.C. (U.S. Army photo by John Crosby)

By John Crosby, Camp Atterbury Public Affairs

Military Friends of NewsBlaze originated these stories, sending them directly to us from Iraq, some from Afghanistan and some in the USA.