A couple of southbound Appalachian Trail hikers are U.S. Air Force veterans, one of whom was shot several times during a rescue mission overseas. Several surgeries later he’s in fine hiking form; he and his traveling partner created trailtorecovery.org to raise money to help in the recovery of other injured veterans. Their blog is here; they’re in VIrginia now and hoping end up at Springer Mountain on Veterans Day. An excerpt:

As word spreads we are also hit with tougher and tougher questions. Questions such as “What are your views on the war?”, “What are your political motives”, and “Why should we donate”. I personally feel that these questions take away from what we are trying to do. Regardless of your views on the war, regardless of your political affiliation, the reality is that we are there and people are getting hurt. I figure there are enough people analyzing, second guessing, and pointing fingers, that I can focus my attention elsewhere. In the long run, politicians, political analysts and outspoken citizens will work out what they feel needs to be done. In the short run, we have brave Americans who could use our help.

Their fund-raising site is here if you’d care to donate. They’re about a quarter of their way to their $100,000 goal.