As Outside's Chief Inspiration Officer, I've been asked by the editors to share some of the uplifting stories I come across in my organization, The Mission Continues. One that inspires me personally is the story of Casey Fulp.
On May 1st, former Special Forces Medic Casey Fulp started his 2,175-mile thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail. His journey will start at Georgia’s Springer Mountain, and will carry him through 14 states to Maine’s Mt. Katahdin.
Casey is hiking to show his support for wounded and disabled veterans. A former Special Forces Medic with the U.S. Army, Casey was severely injured in a civilian motorcycle accident in 2008. In addition to undergoing emergency spleen removal surgery, Casey sustained several other injuries, including a broken sternum, a broken left radius and ulna, and head trauma.
Unable to continue serving in the military himself, Casey has decided to honor fellow wounded and disabled soldiers through his Hike for the Veterans campaign. Casey is hiking on behalf of The Mission Continues, a non-profit organization that provides service Fellowships to post-9/11 wounded and disabled veterans. The Appalachian Trail Conservancy has recorded less than 12,000 people completing this full-through hike since the 1930s, when the trail was created. Casey has been training for months, and he says he is prepared to face challenges along the way.
"Your life may change due to injuries, but your goals don't have to...just the way you go about achieving them,” says Casey. “Everyone has their journey. You just have to be willing to take it."
Casey will be documenting his journey through a trail journal. You will also be able to see Casey’s progress via GPS Tracker and Google Maps, available on his Hike for the Veterans page.
People like Casey help us realize that we can always push ourselves – a little farther and a little harder than we thought possible.
—ERIC GREITENS, Outside’s Chief Inspiration Officer and 2010 Reader of the Year.
For more information on Outside’s next Reader of the Year search, visit OutsideReaderOfTheYear.com after May 26 and nominate someone who inspires you.