Spreading patriotism one step at a time

HERALD photo/Lyndel Moody
Staff Writer

On Friday, Marine veteran Larry Hinkle was back at the Big Spring VA Hospital offering to purchase meals for anyone going through the hospital’s cafeteria line.
It was a homecoming of sorts for him as he makes his second journey to get to know his country and meet as many veterans as he can.
“Last year I walked from Camp Lejuene, North Carolina to Camp Pendleton, California, on a journey I called The Hump,” Hinkle said. “It basically consisted of a 2,640 mile journey, loving veterans, hugging necks, passing out gift cards. Last year we were able to feed 1,032 across the county.”
Big Spring was one of those stops in 2016.
“This was the first place we had a structured Feed Them Friday,” Hinkle said. “From here it turned into feeding 262 people at a Feed Them Friday in Phoenix, Arizona. Hands down this is where it started. This is a special place to me.”
For this trip, Hinkle is focusing on Texas solely.
“This year, I wanted to re-tweak what I did last year,” he said. “Instead of solely focusing on the walk and meeting my deadline, I wanted to spend more time in the communities and make the walk secondary. It’s (the walk) what gets me to the fire stations, the police department, meeting veterans on the street. I very vividly remember this being on the of the sweetest little places I visited last year….I knew without a shadow of a doubt I would be back here.”
Hinkle began his journey on April 3, the same day as the 2016 tour. He picked that date, he said, to honor a fallen brother, his company’s 1st Sgt. Ed Smith who was killed in Iraq. Stationed at Camp Pendleton, Hinkle served in the Marine Corps from 2000-2004.
The learn more about Hinkle or to contribute, visit www.thehump.org.