BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - More than 80-people put on their walking shoes Wednesday to show their support for homeless veterans across South Mississippi. The Biloxi VA hosted a "Walk and Roll" event.
Most of the participants work at the facility, so they understand the plight of veterans who have no place to call home. And they didn't let the heat and humidity stop them from pounding the pavement to promote a cause that's dear to their hearts.
"I'm all for the veterans at all times, and I enjoy doing it for the veterans and I know they appreciate it. I did the full 2K," said Evelyn Champ, a nurse at the Biloxi VA.
The Biloxi VA hosted the 2K Walk to raise money and collect donations for veterans who have so little. While the goal is to end homelessness among veterans, events like that can help fill some of their needs.
"We have homeless veterans that come to us every day looking for the basic supplies, food, tents, blankets. The employees and the other veterans that donated today, it's for a great cause," said Homeless Program Assistant Manager Jodie Picciano-Swanson.
Karl Mitchell is a U.S. Air Force veteran who has been in their shoes. That's why he participated in both 30-minute walks.
"I've been in their situation. During Hurricane Katrina, kind of lost my house and everything else and I had the opportunity to get employment here at the VA, so it's about giving back," said Mental Health Tech Karl Mitchell.
They gave back by pushing themselves to walk 1.2 miles around the front of the hospital.
"To help donate and support them, that way eventually down the road, they can have a place to move into," said Blind Rehab Specialist Randy Kohl.
They did it no matter their age or physical limitations.
"I'm going to do one more," one lady said as she walked with the aid of a cane.
Along they way, they stepped-up their own health and wellness by crossing the finish line.
"Being a part of the blind rehab, we work a lot with veterans as far as exercising, getting them out to be independent, and it's important to get out here and walk and exercise, especially on behalf of homeless veterans," said Kohl.
About 170-2K events took place at VA facilities across the country Wednesday.