East Coast Flooding Fails To Deter GR Veteran’s 9/11 Walk
After more than two weeks of blisters and sweat, a little rain is not going to stop Grand Rapids veteran Jesse Johnson-Brower from his mission.
Johnson-Brower set off on foot from the 9/11 memorial at the base of the World Trade Center in New York City earlier this month, since then he has visited the United 93 memorial in Shanksville, PA, and will end his 454 mile hike at the Pentagon on September 11, the 20th anniversary of the attacks on the United States by terrorists.
Johnson-Brower mission is to not only honor those who fell on the infamous day, but to raise funds for his non-profit, LifeGR, which helps veterans suffering from PTSD and other issues find counseling and other therapeutic activities.
Johnson-Brower made it to Shanksville earlier this week, and posted a video on his Facebook page Wednesday, that the East Coast flooding caused a delay in the walk, but he was planning to make up the difference when the weather broke today.
As a member of 3rd US Infantry, his unit was among the first on the scene at the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. It left an indelible mark on Johnson-Brower and the walk has brought back some powerful emotions.
“I’ve noticed on the walk that my emotions have been triggered in ways that I didn’t think they would. That just shows me that l’ve suffered a lot for a really long time. It will be freeing to let those out,” Johnson-Brower told WOOD-TV News.
“I’d like to advocate for Sept. 11 (remembrance) to the younger generation, and let them see the impact that it’s had on everyone,” Johnson-Brower said. “If nothing else, to educate them on our history.”
So far, LifeGR has helped over 3000 US veterans come to grips with their mental health issues. You can follow Jesse's walk on his group's Facebook page, and you can contribute to his cause here.
NEVER FORGET: Images from 9/11 and the days after