GREENFIELD — Support vehicles coasted alongside the walkers as rain poured and thunder crashed Thursday afternoon.
Though the participants in Route for the Brave could have ducked out of the storm for the two-mile walk along U.S. 40, everyone stuck it out.
That determination is a testament to the dedication the volunteers have shown on their 3,100-mile journey from Atlantic City to San Francisco, said Darren Fishburn, CEO of Helping Hands for Freedom, a nonprofit supporting military families.
The end of Thursday’s jaunt marked 700 miles completed to raise awareness and donations for the organization, which is raising funds to build a retreat home for military men and women and their families.
Eight people are making the entire journey, including two Hoosiers — Dave Roth, an Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officer whose stepson is serving his fifth deployment, and Kevin Winton, a Beech Grove School teacher. Supporters across the country are joining them for smaller chunks of the walk.
The organization’s goal is to raise $3.6 million for the retreat home, which will be built in Indiana, Arizona or Kentucky, Staff Sgt. Patrick Shannon said.
Dellen Automotive, which donated a van to the effort in April and continues to sponsor the journey, hosted a reception for the walkers Thursday.
“When I heard about the project, I thought it was a great opportunity,” company president Nick Dellen said. “We are very happy to be a part of it.”