Teens, young people rally around Brock’s journey for WWP

By Don Coble
Posted 4/17/19

AUBURN, Neb. – Just as Ken Brock trooped into town, a man in his 20s stopped the U.S. Army Veteran to ask why he was pushing a cart with his service dog along the highway.

Brock told the man of …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Don't have an ID?


Print subscribers

If you're a print subscriber, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one.

Non-subscribers

Click here to see your options for subscribing.

Single day pass

You also have the option of purchasing 24 hours of access, for $1.00. Click here to purchase a single day pass.

Teens, young people rally around Brock’s journey for WWP

Posted

AUBURN, Neb. – Just as Ken Brock trooped into town, a man in his 20s stopped the U.S. Army Veteran to ask why he was pushing a cart with his service dog along the highway.

Brock told the man of his battle with post-traumatic stress disorder and the help he got from Wounded Warrior Project. He told him how he finally felt empowered to walk from Amvets Post 86 in Keystone Heights to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, to raise awareness for the veteran’s organization.

The young man, who currently serves in the U.S. National Guard, then did what so many other young people have done on Brock’s grueling journey by giving him a hug.

“He told me to keep doing what I’m doing,” Brock said.

So he marches on.

Brock put another 109 miles behind him last week, which leaves at 1,412 to go before his self-imposed deadline of July 4. Since leaving Keystone Heights on Feb. 1, Brock already has logged more than 1,252 miles of walking.

He’s also made hundreds of friends along the way.

When he got to St. Joseph, Mo., on April 12, he was met by deputy sheriff Jeff Wilson, who escorted Brock to the town’s high school. Waiting on the baseball field were school children and a television crew. Everyone wanted to hear his story.

After that, he rounded up his guide dog, Pam, and the students suddenly started walking with him. If for only a few hundred yards in a 2,664-mile journey, they wanted to be part of Brock’s voyage.

“It was an honor to have the entire town rally around me,” he said. “I told them how this 53-year-old came up with the crazy idea to walk.”

Sheriff deputies and state patrolmen seem to be waiting for Brock at every state, county and city line. Apparently, they’ve created their own message hotline to make sure everyone’s keeping an eye on Brock and he pushes along back roads and busy highways.

“When I got to the Nebraska state line, there was a deputy [Sgt. Jonathan Kirkendall of the Richardson County Sheriff’s Office] waiting there to welcome me to the state,” Brock said. “It’s like that everywhere I go.”

However, Brock said the admiration and interest of teen-aged children and young adults wasn’t expected.

When he got to Sabetha, Neb., early Sunday, he stopped at the Country Mart for a few groceries. The five people working inside – four of them teens – refused to let him pay.

“There is no rhyme or reason for me to be where I’m at right now,” Brock said. “I was so out of shape when I started this. Now I feel good, and I haven’t even had a blister.”

There are more hugs planned in the next three months. He has six grandchildren living in Coeur d’Alene.

“I picked a place where I knew there’d be plenty of hugs and kisses waiting more me,” Brock said.

He just didn’t expect so many along the way.

Comments

No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment