Retired army veteran and Huntsville native Van Booth is walking across the US to raise money for Operation Song, which empowers veterans to tell their stories through through music.
As of Friday morning, Booth was making his way across Nevada.
“As of today, I’m about 114 miles total in my walk. I have been walking for the past week,” said Booth.
Booth wanted to raise money for Operation Song because he says it was healing for him to have his own story turned into a song. Operation Song helps veterans tell their stories through music.
“It pairs a veteran with a national hit making song writer to help veterans get things off their chest they can’t normally say,” he explains. “It seems to be easier to do over song, and it works.”
All that he has with him on his journey is a cart that holds food and camping gear and a guitar.
“The stringless guitar, meaning a silent guitar, represents the soldiers and veterans who aren’t here anymore,” said Booth.
Booth says it hasn’t been an easy journey.
“The first three days in, I was extremely sore and thought oh my gosh I’m only twenty miles in,” he laughed.
Booth has over 2800 miles to go, but he’s loving the journey.
“The amount of people I run into, the stories, it’s just been amazing,” he said.
Booth has a tribe cheering him on back at home, which Ty Oswald is part of. Oswald and Booth are both members of Bearded Warriors.
“We talk about him everyday,” said Oswald. “We’re all keeping up with him and trying to figure out how to make it easier for him or if there’s stuff he needs and we can drop ship him. We’re super proud of him. He’s not doing it for anyone but everyone else.”