After 26,000-mile walk, veteran continues support for charities
Dany Garcia, a Rockledge resident, raises money for charity with long walks.
R. Norman Moody
A 75-year-old U.S. Marine veteran, credited with walking more than 26,000 miles across five continents, rallied supporters in Melbourne as he continues trekking.
Danny Garcia, a Rockledge resident, said while he no longer does many of the extensive treks as he did for 22 years to raise money for charity, he continues to walk shorter distances wherever he gets the support.
“I haven’t stopped,” he said. “You never do this by yourself.”
Garcia said he expects to meet with supporters in North Carolina for a walk that could take him to Nashville, Tennessee.
“We’ve been doing these symbolic walks in different places,” he said.
Glenn Sandler, CEO of G.I Tax, presented Garcia with an oversized check for $5,000 made out to America Salutes You. The organization that Garcia supports, produces events and concerts to raise awareness and funds for charities that assist military, veterans and first responders.
“We’ll definitely support your organization again,” Sandler said.
The gathering attracted police officers from Palm Bay, West Melbourne and Daytona Beach.
“There are so many people here who I need to say thank you to,” Garcia said during the Aug. 13 gathering in Melbourne.
U.S. Rep. Bill Posey draped a Quality Floridian Medal around Garcia’s neck.
He in turn presented Posey, Sandler and several others with American flags.
Garcia said he started walking about 22 years ago to heal from personal difficulties and that he will continue walking for worthy causes as long as he can.
Garcia said a long distance walk about seven years ago took him through Morocco and from Jordan to Iraq. He keeps thick binders with newspaper clippings and letters chronicling his walks.
“It started in 1996, San Francisco to New York,” he said. “I only had $48 when I started.”
Almost four years ago, Garcia set out on a 1,450-mile walk that ended shortly after it started from the 9/11 Memorial and Museum in New York City. It was to end on Merritt Island.
He began his walk Sept. 11, 2016 but ended it a few days later when three bombs exploded in New York that left about 30 people injured.
“They were concerned for my life,” Garcia said.
He said he had planned to stop to pray at veterans’ memorials, military bases, churches and police stations along the way.
“I was inspired by God and the people I walk for,” he said.