Veteran Stops In Topeka In Trek Across Country

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW)-A veteran is traveling from coast to coast to pay tribute to our fallen heroes and Saturday he stopped in Topeka, Kansas.

This marked his halfway point and he has been staying in fire houses, VFW's, and American Legion along the way.

Desert storm veteran Joe "Tiger" Patrick is continuing to walk across the country to honor America's fallen heroes. He stopped in Topeka at the Equality House across from Westboro Baptist Church with a special item inside his backpack.

He set up a memorial panel with more than 6,600 hundred pictures of men and women killed in Iraq and Afghanistan so visitors can see the faces of those that fought for our freedom.

"They look at the panel and they go 'wow I didn't realize' and that's exactly what I want. And so far, every face up there there is a mother, father brother and a sister, who sadly carries the grief of the loss of their loved one," says Tiger.

Tiger says he wants Americans to be aware that fallen soldiers shouldn't be remembered as a statistic

"They're real people, real hardworking people who have sacrificed," he says.

Christi Michaud-Waterbury found her husband who was killed in Iraq on the memorial panel. This reminded her of the horrible news she received in 2007.

"I came home from work and it was a bad nightmare," said Waterbury.

Tiger helped another visitor, Linda Wanamaker, find her lost loved one on the panel. She says she was touched to to see her friend who paid the ultimate sacrifice.

"It's really sad, but it's good that they are doing this so everybody knows about the fallen soldiers," says Wanamaker.

Tiger will finish his 6 month journey in Washington D.C. and he says he hopes his journey pays tribute to the fallen soldiers and gives them the everlasting recognition they deserve.

"And to be remembered with honor," says Tiger.

Tiger will end his journey at the Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington DC.


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