PALM DESERT, Calif. — Just home from Iraq in August 2009, former U.S. Army Spc. Troy Yocum was inspired by a fellow veteran who needed assistance but couldn't get it from nonprofit groups overwhelmed with requests and decided to literally take steps to help.
During what has been dubbed "Hike for our Heroes," Yocum, 31, is walking a loop around the country with hopes to raise $5 million and draw attention to military families in need.
During his 16-month journey, which included his arrival in Palm Desert on Thursday after walking 3,527 miles of his 7,000-mile goal, the Kentucky native has faced his share of obstacles. Kidney stones sent him to the hospital for nine days in Colorado, his RV has broken down more than a dozen times and his dog was temporarily sidelined with a bladder infection.