I had the honor of meeting Mike Viti yesterday. If you don’t know about this man here is an excerpt from his website:
“Mike Viti will be walking across America, over 7,100 kilometers, one kilometer for each and every service member who was killed in action during the Global War On Terror (GWOT). His personal goal is to raise the awareness of everyday Americans about the sacrifice of our nation’s heroes and their families. His message is that these heroes represent the face of freedom. Together, we must rally and honor the legacies of those killed in action and support their families.”
He is walking over seven thousand kilometers for fallen heroes. Can you say “wow?” Mike writes down the names of those he is honoring on a flag and carries it with him, thinking about each man as he walks. This is a beautiful story of self-sacrifice in order to raise awareness for the families of the fallen. When Mike left the military and started working at a Fortune 100 company, he saw a lack of awareness in those “living the dream” for the sacrifice of those who allowed them to live the dream. He got convicted, and he left to start “Mike’s Hiking for Heroes.” If you donate to his foundation all proceeds go to Mike’s cause as well as enabling friends and family to build permanent memorials in the hometowns of veterans killed in action.
I checked out his Facebook page this morning. He had posted some of the pictures he had taken of our group. One man had commented: “Writing on a flag is exceptionally disrespectful and against US Flag Code. While this is an amazing goal, surely it can be done without violating flag code. The flag should never have placed upon it, nor on any part of it, nor attached to it any mark, insignia, letter, word, figure, design, picture, or drawing of any nature. Title 4 US Code contains the rules for how we treat a flag. Title 10 US Code covers the UCMJ.”
I was about to go Rambo on this man. Does he realize the ink embedded in that flag is the blood of the fallen for the flag? They died for the flag. Disrespect? I don’t think so. Stop looking at the letter of the law and look at the spirit. This reminds me of some Pharisees in Jesus’ day. You can’t heal the sick on the Sabbath, but you can pull your mule out if it falls in a well. Seriously people. Rambo.
This is going to be a short post because I want you to go check out Mike’s site. Please click here and check out this amazing man and his vision.
Trek away Mike! Our hearts are with you!
I will leave you with one more picture. These other two ladies have also lost big. Brittany lost her husband Josh, and Melanie lost her son John.
This is why Mike does what he does. He puts faces to the loss. Support him.