Army veteran walking across the U.S. to help honor veterans
CORRECTION: A previous version of this story identified the organization Booth is partnering with as Operation Song. Booth is partnering with Freedom Sings USA, which is a different organization.
A U.S. Army veteran is walking across the nation to help other veterans in need.
Van Booth, who is from Alabama, is raising money for the non-profit, Freedom Sings USA. He told Channel 3 he has walked 2,655 miles.
“I'm on my 5th pair of I call them my tires,” he said. “My goal is to get to the Atlantic Ocean in one piece as safe as I can and to finish it by December 31 New Year’s Eve and to talk to as many veterans as I can.”
The group's mission is to empower veterans and active-duty military by telling their stories through the process of songwriting. The organization has written more than 600 songs. According to the organization's website, veterans and family members are not charged for their services.
Booth served as an infantryman from 1995 to 2016. He says Freedom Sings USA. helped him cope with trauma and losing comrades in combat. The group turned Booth’s story into a song. On Wednesday, he joined a group of others honored to listen to the group's fourth album, which features Booth’s song.
“I've been looking forward to this for months now,” Booth said. “A lot of these songs I've heard so far they were just starting to be written when I was here back in February. They were just on paper. They were just starting out and I never did get to hear the rest of them and today I'm hearing the finished product and it's amazing.”
Freedom Sings USA showcased their lasted album Wednesday at Edley’s BBQ.