Col. Donald Fallin had been hiking the Appalachian Trail since March in support of a scholarship fund for the children of fallen warriors and recently finished the trail at Bear Mountain. At Springer Mountain, Georgia on March 27, Fallin started up the nearly 2,200-mile trail on a mission to raise awareness and money for the Johnny Mac Soldiers Fund.
Fallin established a crowdfunding campaign through GoFundMe subsidiary Crowdrise, with an original goal of raising $5,000 for Johnny Mac. After large contributor responses, and after gaining the attention of the Gary Sinise Foundation, he was able to push the goal to $15,000 and exceeded the goal by $2,000.
On a long Columbus Day weekend, Fallin's son traveled from West Point to meet him and hike a portion of the trail with him during a particularly rainy stretch of the hike.
Said Fallin, "He's the one that had been giving me a hard time about the trail, about "You know, Dad, it's just walking," or he'd be like, "Finish with your backpack or in it." So, he drove up and hiked with me for two and a half days in Vermont, those muddy, wet, rainy days. He's like--we were sitting in the shelter; we were pretty wet and cold--he said, "You've been doing this for six months, haven't you?" Then he said, "Hmm." I knew what he was thinking. But he didn't give me a hard time about anything after he went out and did it for a couple of days." Read More
Photo: Col. Donald Fallin atop Mt. Katahdin, Maine, the northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail