The Walking Marine is better known as Terry Sharpe.
In the Fall of 2014, two United States Marine Corps veterans, Terry Sharpe and Allen Brown, completed their second 300 mile walk from their homes in North Carolina to Washington, D.C., in an attempt to get lawmakers to take action regarding the case of Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi, who has been in a Mexican prison since March 2014.
Sharpe and Brown completed their first walk to the White House in September. Upon arriving, they delivered a message to President Barack Obama urging him to “make the call” to Mexico to get Tahmooressi released back to the United States. While in DC, they attended the House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing along with the Marine’s mother Jill Tahmooressi and talk show host Montel Williams, who has become a vocal leader in the fight to have Tahmooressi released.
Sharpe and Brown were home for just four days before they grew fed up again and began their second walk. On their second walk, however, their target expanded from President Obama to Democrats in Congress.
According to Sharpe, only two Democrats attended the hearing. One of them was Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D., Fla.), who he says left the hearing soon after she got her picture taken with Jill Tahmooressi.
Sharpe does not believe that this fight should be a political one, and wants Democrats to join Republicans in pressuring the White House to take action on Tahmooressi’s behalf.
“This is about getting our Marine out of the Mexican prison so he can get help for his PTSD,” said Sharpe .
Sharpe and Brown, who served together in Vietnam, are both 63 years old. They claim that the second walk has not been easy, but is necessary.
The Marines have received even more support on this second walk than they did on the last one, including from fellow Marines and veterans who have joined them for long portions of their walk.
Supporters gathered for a second time at Arlington Gateway Park just outside Washington, D.C., on Saturday morning to walk the final miles to the White House with Sharpe and Brown.
In February 2015, Sharpe reunited with Brown to participate in a protest in King, NC, where activists forced the town of King to remove a praying soldier memorial from the Central Park Veterans Memorial. Sharpe and Brown walked 30 miles carrying the Christian flag as well as the Stars and Stripes. When they arrived at the Memorial, Sharpe and Brown joined members of 2 Million Bikers to DC. Sharpe and Brown were guest speakers at the presentation.
On April 25, 2015 Sharpe and Brown joined the non-profit organization 22 Until None on a ruck in Rockingham County, North Carolina where close to 100 current and former military service members and family members hiked 4.7 miles from Cole Auditorium in Hamlet to VFW Post 4203 and back. Many of those “rucking” carried rucksacks with 22 pounds of gear inside to symbolize the 22 veterans who commit suicide each day.
On May 16, 2015 Terry led the charge again to raise awareness about the 22 US Veterans a day that commit suicide, a devastating statistic. We owe our Veterans all the support they need and deserve, and Terry wants to bring attention to their needs. He walked along with many others a little over 5 miles from the Halifax War Memorial, Halifax, VA to Constitution Square in South Boston, VA.
In June 2015, Terry set out again on his 300 mile walk from Summerfield, NC to Washington, DC to bring attention to the four Americans being held in Iranian prison. The four Americans were former United States Marine Amir Hekmati, Christian Pastor Saeed Abedini, Reporter Jason Rezaian, and Robert Levinson. Terry began his walk on June 1, 2015 and ended his walk on June 20, 2015 at the steps of the US Capital. Three of them have been returned to us and many believe the efforts by Terry helped draw attention to the issue.
June 2016 again found Terry making the 300 mile walk from Summerfield, NC to Washington, DC to raise awareness of the current Veteran suicide rate, which stands at 22 per day — the equivalent of one Veteran committing suicide every 65 minutes. Terry at age 65, walked from Summerfield, NC to Washington, DC to bring attention to this terrible plight. There were numerous large rallies along the way and Terry received a warm reception everywhere he went.
May 2017 again found Terry making the 300 mile walk from Summerfield, NC to Washington, DC to raise awareness of the current Veteran suicide rate, which stands at 22 per day — the equivalent of one Veteran committing suicide every 65 minutes. Terry at age 66, again walked from Summerfield, NC to Washington, DC to bring attention to this terrible plight. Terry continued to receive warm welcomes along the way and lots of support from the many towns and cities along the way.
May 2018 Terry again took up the banner for Veterans along with Michael Boncek (US Army Veteran) and Ken Wilson (parent of a Veteran) to raise awareness for Veteran Suicide along with Veteran Homelessness and Hunger. At 67 years old Terry made the 300 mile walk and was honored to be able to place a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and attend a special event at the White House. The reception along the way for the team was just as terrific as it has been in years past.
May 2019 Terry yet again walked for Veterans along with Michael Boncek (US Army Veteran) as well as Ken and Sherry Wilson (parent of a Veteran) to raise awareness for Veteran Suicide along with Veteran Homelessness and Hunger. At 68 years old Terry made the 300 mile walk and concluded at the very last Rolling Thunder event in Washington DC.