Long Walk Home

“Veterans return home from their service every day and quietly slip back into our cities and towns mostly unnoticed, frequently living lives that never quite find a complete connection to the communities in which they live. Like a brick in a wall without mortar, they are present yet not connected. Neither do they support the wall nor are they bound to the strength of the wall, easily removed and discarded. For a veteran, finding the pathway to complete connection with their community can be a long walk home.” ~Jared Ross

2200 total miles in the year 2023

To bring awareness to and hopefully change these ugly statistics:

  • 23+ daily veteran suicides
  • Veterans addictions
  • Veterans suboptimal levels of health
  • Veterans inability to restore
  • Veterans family impact

A Veteran and Magnus Member, Jared Ross, will walk the Appalachian Trail, starting from Georgia to Maine, beginning no later than May 1st, 2023. (Due to a recent job change for Jared it became necessary to delay this project for a year, from 2022 as was previously posted to 2023. This date change will also give Magnus time to boost support). Long Walk Home project honors American veterans from all decades through family/friend tributes, raising funds for the Magnus Veterans Foundation (MVF) to continue its great mission. Jared will also will be doing this Long Walk Home as a part of his own journey to walk off the war.

Who is Jared Ross?

Jared is a retired Green Beret and combat veteran. Since his military retirement he has been an executive at several major corporations as well as a faculty member at the George Washington University and a researcher at the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences. However, he states that his transition from the military is not complete despite the 7 years of successful, professional employment he has been so fortunate to find. “I’m also doing this walk as a part of my own journey back to my community.”

“People often ask me, how was the transition? Mostly the people that ask me that are active-duty service members who are themselves preparing to end their service. I frequently just answer simply, ‘continuing’. Because although I’ve had 7 years of relative success, I still feel there is something I have left behind something I struggle to articulate and something that I’m certain other veterans completely understand. I have not found my way back home yet. I believe this long walk in the woods will be that pathway back home as well as stand as the type of service to this cause and charity that I can honor and thereby justify voluntarily separating from my family once again as well as taking four and a half months off from work.

How did Jared find Magnus Veterans Foundation?

Jared first met Dr. Shawn Alderman in 2016 at Ft. Campbell Kentucky when he was still on active duty serving as the 5th Special Forces Group Command Surgeon. Jared was there to do a presentation for all those present for duty about his own story dealing with PTSD, TBI, and his experiences as a leader in Special Forces with other service members who were encountering similar challenges. Shawn and Jared have been friends ever since. They both deeply agreed on the great benefit of the holistic health care modeland it was from Alderman holding onto a gripping compassion to resolve this gap between military service and being back home, knowing so many veterans never receive but still vastly need post-service discharge holistic health care, that became the genesis for the Magnus Veterans Foundation.

Why the Appalachian Trail?

The Appalachian Trail was the first national trail. It connects 14 states and all but 3 of the original 13 colonies. It binds a significant part of our nation together. It transcends boundaries as it forms a continuous, winding pathway through some of the most beautiful and pristine wilderness in the world. It is a living memorial to the natural world that sustains our nation and stands as a reminder of the promise that this country offered to those seeking a new life…freedom…prosperity…redemption. The Appalachian Trail was an ambitious idea that took decades to realize and, in that way, is smaller reflection of the idea of a free, autonomous country that eventually evolved into the prosperous and powerful nation the United States has become. Certainly, we are not at the end of our journey as a nation. We have a long way to go, but every journey starts with a first step. On April 4th, 1948, Earl Shaffer, a WWII veteran, became the first person to attempt hiking the Appalachian Trail in its entirety in a single season. 124 days later he finished the journey. When asked why he did it he once replied, “I wanted to walk the war out of my system.”

 

How is Jared preparing for the Long Walk Home?

Jared is receiving medical care from Dr. Shawn Alderman of the MVWC for pain management. On-going virtual sessions, occasional labs and x-rays will assure Jared’s wellness for this mission.

Jared is also using physical therapy following visits withy Dr. Jon Frikken for to heal his shoulder injury and prepare him for carrying a 40 pound pack as he hikes the Appalachian Trail.

Steadily increasing distance and stamina, Jared hikes a variety of terrain, climates, and altitudes. He has conducted significant training hikes over the last six months, along with strength training in the gym.

How will “The Long Walk Home” raise funds for Magnus Veterans Foundation?

Charitable donations to the MVF in the ‘Long Walk Home’ campaign will help the organization continue to pursue their mission of healing and honoring veterans and their families through community fellowship and a comprehensive approach to restoring the body, heart, mind, and spirit. Each Tribute of $100 in honor or memory of your chosen veteran, helps to restore a veteran on the Magnus Veterans Wellness Campus, now. Tributes are pledged by clicking on the link here.