Thomas Gathman, 30, leaves a Hanover, N.H., hotel and hops back on the trail, the Appalachian Trail that is. You may not know it, but trail markers for the AT blaze right through downtown.
"We've hiked over 1,700 miles so far. We have just under 500 miles to go," said Thomas Gathman, a Marine. "I couldn't be happier personally. I am having one of the greatest walks of my life."
Gathman is one of 14 veterans taking part in this year's Warrior Hike. The program started last year to raise money for wounded veterans. This year, the focus changed to help veterans "walk off the war."
The Appalachian Trail begins in Georgia and heads north up the East Coast to Maine. It's approximately 2,200-miles long, which gives any through-hiker a lot of time to think.
"Kind of just come to terms with some things that you see or experienced or things you may have had to do," Gathman said. "You get plenty of time to think about those things."
Like the hardships of the battlefield, watching fellow soldiers suffer; scars that last long after the combat is over. "Walking off the war" is designed to help soldiers like Gathman reintegrate back into their old lives.
"Whether it is just life on the homefront or their own personal issues that they have encountered with combat, it's for all of it," Gathman said.
And you never know who you might meet along the trail. On this day-- by chance-- former Dartmouth College President James Wright.
"They want to forget, but they also know that they can't forget. And they just want to figure out how to deal with that," Wright said.
Wright is a former Marine himself and an advocate for wounded soldiers, visiting Walter Reed Medical Center on several occasions. Wright says that issue surrounding veterans need to be highlighted.
"Occasions like this provide opportunities to call all of our attention to it, as well as to provide an opportunity for veterans themselves to have a wonderful walk along a great trail," Wright said.
"The goal is to get veterans out on the trail and to provide them with a haven for stuff they have seen of done," Gathman said.
A trail that cuts right through our region. And this year, one that's helping soldiers find peace along the way.
Saturday, March 8 2014 9:49 PM EST2014-03-09 02:49:49 GMT
The Burlington Yoga Conference began Saturday at UVM's Davis Center. The event gives participants a chance to connect the mind body and soul through workshops they may not have access to on a daily basis.More >>
The Burlington Yoga Conference began 6 years ago and has become a staple in the community.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 9:29 PM EST2014-03-09 02:29:17 GMT
A warning for pet owners in our region. Coyotes are on the prowl. A biologist in New Hampshire says he has received more than 10 calls recently, in the Keene, New Hampshire area, for a deer that was takenMore >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 9:21 PM EST2014-03-09 02:21:44 GMT
As spring approaches, many Vermont homeowners prepare to work on their houses - so they head to the Burlington Home Show. And many Vermont small business owners - with their products and services on displayMore >>
Many business owners at the Burlington Home Show say the new health care system in Vermont is helpful, but some say it's causing a real headache.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 8:07 PM EST2014-03-09 01:07:08 GMT
A rally at the State House in Montpelier Saturday. A passionate group of dozens of women, and men, assembled in front of the State House Saturday for the Women's March for Dignity. They were demandingMore >>
Women's March for Dignity say they are demanding lawmakers support paid sick day policies for all workers.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 10:21 AM EST2014-03-08 15:21:27 GMT
Two firefighters are recovering from minor injuries. They were injured while fighting a at the Bennett Farm on Route 15 on the Johnson-Cambridge town line. The fire started in a shed around 7:30 FridayMore >>
Two firefighters are recovering from minor injuries.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 10:20 AM EST2014-03-08 15:20:42 GMT
Friends are rallying around families who lost everything in an apartment building fire in St. Johnsbury. They immediately took to Facebook after hearing about this fire and started planning to collectMore >>
Friends are rallying around families who lost everything in an apartment building fire in St. Johnsbury.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 10:20 AM EST2014-03-08 15:20:05 GMT
Reporter: "What are some of the most common burn injuries that we see with kids coming into the hospital?" Jim Esdon, Dartmouth Hitchcock Injury Prevention Center: "This time of year, the glass frontedMore >>
We've had another cold week that's left homeowners cranking the heat. But what does that mean for kids' safety?More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 10:19 AM EST2014-03-08 15:19:21 GMT
Armed with just two L rods, 87-year-old John Wayne Blassingame starts looking for water by asking yes or no questions. "Does it go past 20 feet, does it go past 30 feet, yah," he says. The rods crossingMore >>
A national organization based in Danville says it is providing resources to people in desperate need to find water.More >>