On the morning of Sept. 7, Sgt. Glenn A. Follett, an Army National Guardsman and Fredonia High School graduate began a walk of more than 80 miles to raise money for wounded warriors and their families.
Follett began walking from Hancock Field Air National Guard Base in Mattydale, N.Y. and over the course of four days raised more than $1,200. He attempted to cover between 10 and 15 miles per day along routes 11 and 3, but had to stretch his daily distance in order to make it to a 9/11 remembrance ceremony in Fort Drum.
In a phone interview after the walk, Follett said, "I never want to forget 9/11," and stressed the importance of what happened on that day.
Army National Guardsman Glenn A. Follett is pictured at Fort Drum on Sept. 11, 2013. Follett, a Fredonia High School alum, walked more than 80 miles and raised more than $1,200 in support of the Wounded Warriors project.
"Being a soldier, you train and train and train. We don't want to go to war," Follett said.
He's completed many tours of duty including Somalia and took part in the First Gulf War in 1991. Last year at this time he was in Afghanistan.
"I wanted to take care of things back home," Follett said, who currently resides in Baldwinsville, N.Y. and tries to instill his beliefs in public service in his son who is 15.
"Kids are so wrapped up in Facebook. People are so wrapped up in themselves. I'm not perfect by any means, but once you've been to combat, there's so much more to life, to reality," he said.
Follett didn't want praise for his walk. However, he was greeted by a large group of thankful supporters when he arrived in Fort Drum.
In a Facebook post on his page "Road March to Remember," Follett said, "I was greeted and most of all welcomed by some great NCOs and Officers of the 10th Mountain Div. And yes, I got choked up!!!"
He plans on continuing the tradition in the coming years, but perhaps in different ways.
As for ideas for 2014, Follett said he might consider a canoe trip or a walk in the Adirondack Mountains.
He liked that his first walk was simple and added that he follows a guideline of "less is more." The sergeant also mentioned that he isn't the only member of the U.S. Military who has walked for wounded veterans.
Marines Adam Shatarsky and Christopher Senopole began a journey on foot from Camp Pendleton in California on June 15 and plan to reach Washington D.C. in October.
"When I'm 80, I want to remember that on 9/11 in 2013, I walked to Fort Drum," Follett said.
Currently, he's back to work as an Active Guard Reserve Soldier. He may have the option to retire in 2019, but says he has no plans of slowing down.
"I'll probably keep going," Follett finished.