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Fargo VA Health Care System

 

Veterans Day March

86-year old Tom Selleys completed his Veterans Honor Walk from Fargo to Ft. Abercrombie.

86-year old Tom Selleys completed his Veterans Honor Walk from Fargo to Ft. Abercrombie.

By Kevin Wallevand, WDAY -- published with permissions from WDAY News
Thursday, November 11, 2010

 Published November 11, 2010 by WDAY News 

WWII Veteran takes on 35-mile march to honor those who have served

In a stiff Dakota prairie wind, biting cold, Tom Selleys still had that boot camp step of young army recruit.

TOM SELLEYS World War Two Veteran: "Basic training at that age is a snap and this isn't bad."

He is marching down Highway 81 south out of Fargo, the American flag snapping in the wind.

"I am doing fine."

86-year old Tom Selleys with strength and determination made the walk.

"Something I wanted to do."

He joined the army in 1940. He grinned when we asked him how old he was then. If you do the math, Tom was likely 16 when he headed off to war. Today, the old solider still has the pride and punch of an infantryman.

"Well, it gives us time to think and we think of our buddies we lost."

Tom lost an eye fighting in the Pacific. A disabled veteran, he now volunteers at the VA in Fargo. A man we give many thanks to spends his day giving back to others who have served.

"It is very soul satisfying, makes you think of other people."

One veteran, on a day reserved for him, taking the long walk in gratitude to those who no longer can.

"We learn to appreciate what we got."

The wind got so strong today, Tom marched until he could no longer hold the flag. He marked his spot, and will finish later this week.

See the WDAY story at http://www.wday.com/event/article/id/40769/

 

Published November 12, 2010 by WDAY News 

World War II Veteran completes 35-mile Honor Walk

What a finish! Late this afternoon, 86-year old Tom Selleys completed his Veterans Honor Walk from Fargo to Ft. Abercrombie. The World War Two Veteran says it is something he has been thinking about doing for years. He walked the 35-miles in biting wind and cold, but as he approached the end of his walk there was one big surprise. A crowd of children lined Main Street in Abercrombie to honor him.

“You can see him, you can see the flag.”

Clutching American flags and holding hand painted heart felt banners, elementary students from Richland Elementary waited for the hero.

“He is doing something for our nation.”

Tom Selleys methodically marched his way down highway 81, capping off is long journey south.

“I think it is cool how old he is and why he is doing this.”

This 86-year old bound and determined to make this walk in honor of those who have served. In Abercrombie there was a heroes welcome. They lined the streets, 140 children welcoming the old solider as he prepared to reach the fort.

“It's great.”

TOMM SELLEYS WORLD WAR TWO VETERAN: “Made it worth while. I hope they remember the veterans.”

As Tom prepared to continue, he paused, the children were singing the national anthem.

“Great music, great for our country and our veterans.”

And then forward. What a homecoming with a fire truck escort and color guard as he marched down Main Street. Norman Rockwell would have put it in canvas, but what a moment for the man who joined the army at age 16 to fight in the pacific and what a lesson to those who today can thank him.

A promise made to himself finally fulfilled, as one of the Army's finest made it to the Fort. The children never stopped cheering him on, walking beside him, singing to him and perhaps the best honor of all, one generation thanking another.

Tom walked a big chunk of the journey on Veteran's Day, but the strong winds battered his flag so much, he couldn't hang on to it. So he started again at sunrise today to finish the 35 mile journey.

See the WDAY story at http://www.wday.com/event/article/id/40886/


 

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