War vet to shoulder 100 pound pack on Memorial Day
PASCO, Wash -- Memorial Day is Monday, a day to remember men and women who have died serving our country. But one local war veteran says many soldiers are dying after they come home and this Memorial Day he plans to honor those heroes.
35-year-old Christopher Linck knows the pain of war. Linck was shot in the neck in Baghdad in 2003 when he was a Marine sniper. His team was ambushed and took heavy fire. "Everything was going off and I just got hit."
He was honorably discharged and made it home intact; body, mind and spirit. He says he's one of the lucky ones. "Some of the guys you ask them and they say their body is here, but there soul is trapped over there," says Linck.
He's seen too many war veterans come home with severe PTSD and suffer. Some take their own lives, and others he's seen die a slower death turning to drugs or alcohol. "They're tired of fighting -- they're just fighting constantly. And sometimes they lose. And it's sad, and I'm tired to being sad about it so I'm trying to do something."
On Memorial Day, he's hefting a 100 pound pack and trekking 20 miles. The pack he says, represents the heavy burden that soldiers come home with. He hopes the community will come out and help him shoulder the load.
"They just need support. They need to be told that it's okay and that they're loved and they're needed."
The trek is metaphor for what he says veterans need; support, encouragement and help, as they shoulder the burdens of war, that don't vanish when they come home.
If you'd like to join him or just go out and show your support, Christopher Linck will be walking on the Sacajawea Heritage Trail.
He's scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. on Memorial Day at the Veterans Memorial in Columbia Park in Kennewick. There will be several check points as follows:
- The marina near Kimo's
- Columbia Point Park
- Chiawana Boat Launch
- Clover Island rest area
- Ending at Veteran's Memorial in Columbia Park