'Wounded Walk' veterans event: mission accomplished

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

PHOENIX -- It's mission accomplished for the Wounded Walk, Mission: Mojave event, which was designed to raise awareness about wounded veterans.

The 310 mile journey began on August 1 from Palm Springs, CA and ended Monday, Sepetmber 1 at the Irish Cultural Center in Phoenix.

United States Marine Corps veterans, Adam Shatarsky and Ross Delafield, stepped off from Palm Springs to begin a journey through extreme heat, sand and silence, all for wounded veteran awareness.The Wounded Walk is a national nonprofit organization that raises funds and awareness for wounded veterans.

Statistics show an estimated 22 veterans take their own life every day, which is one of the reasons Marine Corps veterans Shatarsky and Delafield decided to walk and to raise awareness for an epidemic that is hitting our nation's military veterans.

"Too many of our brothers and sisters return home broken. They may not be physically broken, but they are mentally broken. Our communities are there to help and to provide assistance in guiding our veterans through difficult times. I helped start The Wounded Walk to help bring awareness to devastating issues that should not be plaguing our veterans. These men and women deserve much better from our country," said Delafield.   

Another topic of concern for Shatarsky and Delafield is the current national healthcare crisis for our veterans. "Our veterans put their lives on the line to make sure that our way of life remains free and democratic. For them to not receive anything but the best healthcare and medical attention is a disgrace to our country and to our military. The VA needs to do better in ensuring that our veterans receive great care in a timely manner," said Shatarsky.

The Wounded Walk arrives in Phoenix on the heels of the Phoenix VA Hospital making headlines for poor treatment, untimely responses, and even deaths among our nation's veterans.

The Wounded Walk completed a walk from Camp Pendleton, CA to Washington, DC in 2013 and a walk from New York City to Washington, DC in April 2014.

The Wounded Walk is currently raising funds to assist veterans with medical bills, in obtaining prosthetics, and in making their dreams become a reality.  For additional information about The Wounded Walk nonprofit organization, please visit thewoundedwalk.org.