[U.S. Marines with 1st Platoon, Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment cross a canal during a security patrol in Sangin, Afghanistan, on Jan. 8, 2011. Marines conducted counterinsurgency operations with the International Security Assistance Force to suppress insurgent activity and gain the trust of Afghan citizens. DoD photo by Lance Cpl. Jorge A. Ortiz, U.S. Marine Corps. (Released) (Photo by U.S. Marine Corps)]
By Gary Lloyd
Parkinson’s disease has prevented Roger Long from walking without a cane and walking extended distances for the last eight years.Now, the 44-year-old Trussville resident is walking for more than just himself.Thanks to lifestyle changes that have affected Long in a positive way, he’s walking without a cane and going even further.On Jan. 4, he circled Carrington Lakes enough times to total 10 miles. His youngest son, Zachary, a senior at Hewitt-Trussville High School, enlisted in the United States Marine Corps delayed entry program the same day. His oldest, Lance Cpl. Benjamin Long of the 2nd Battalion 9th Marine Regiment, was already in Afghanistan.“It was kind of a milestone day,” Long said.Long is walking around the lake every day from now until March 26 to raise awareness and money for the Wounded Warrior Project, which he said helps those that are wounded to adjust to as normal a life as possible when they return home.The goal is to raise $5,000 in honor of the 14 fallen Marines and one sailor from the 2nd Battalion 9th Marine Regiment, he said.“That’s what pushed me,” Long said of his encouragement to organize the benefit walk. “I really want to give something back. I want to help someone besides just myself.”The capstone event will be March 26 beginning at 10 a.m., when walkers and sponsors will participate in a 5-mile walk/run around the lake in the Carrington Lakes subdivision.The walk is an officially sanctioned fundraiser for the Wounded Warrior Project, Long said. He said the $5,000 is just a goal, and whether the donations come in more than or less than that number isn’t the most important thing. He just wants to raise awareness.“I walk because I can,” Long says on his blog, http://www.marinedadx2.blogspot.com. “When I get tired, I remember those who can’t walk, what they’d give to have this simple gift I no longer take for granted, and I walk harder and farther for them. I know they would do the same for me.”For more information on the walk or to make a donation, visit Long’s blog at http://www.marinedadx2.blogspot.com.
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