Vet Making Cross Country Tribute To Fallen Troops

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JUNCTION CITY, Kan. (WIBW) -- A Desert Storm veteran is paying tribute paying tribute to fallen soldiers in a big way and he’s sharing his mission as he makes his way through Kansas and across the country.

WIBW caught up with Joe “Tiger” Patrick, of Rhode Island, Monday in Junction City as he continues his six month journey East, walking from coast to coast and staying at fire houses, VFW’s, American Legion posts and Elk Lodges along the way.

In his backpack, Patrick is carrying a 25ft/8ft memorial panel with more than 6,600 pictures of the men and women killed in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, including the faces of 74 Kansans killed in action. When he makes stops in different towns during his trip, he displays the panel.

He started in Coronado, California near San Diego and will finish his journey with stops Emmitsburg, MD for the Fallen Fire Fighters Memorial Weekend (Oct 5,6) to honor firefighters killed in the line of duty as well as stops at Arlington National Cemetery where many of the soldiers on his panel are buried and Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, D.C around Halloween.

“I wanted to have the lost, the fallen and their family members and the soldiers who have come back know that there’s a lot of people out there who still care and to let the families of the fallen know that they’re not alone in their grief,” Patrick told WIBW.

He will head to Manhattan and Topeka in the coming days and encourages passersby to stop and talk to him.

On Saturday, July 27, 2013, there will be a public viewing of the memorial panel on the lawn of the Equality House, 1200 SW Orleans St. Topeka, KS 66604 from 11-1pm. Patrick will be available to answer questions and speak about the panel.