The members of VFW Post 1177 on Wednesday hosted a visit by Danny Garcia, the U.S. Marine Corps veteran who has walked around the globe to support veterans, children, and world peace.
The adventures and message of the 76-year-old minister—including his meetings with world leaders ranging from Queen Elizabeth to Mother Teresa—are featured his new book “Marines Don’t Cry: Delivering the Message at All Cost,” publishing in December.
He began walking in 1996 from California, responding to a calling from God, he said.
“This walk around the world has been challenging, I’ll tell you that,” he said. “I’ve walked over snakes that bite and can kill you, mudslides, snow up to your knees in France in the cold weather. … I’ve been abducted by Palestinians,” he said.
He recalled the pain of visiting the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, DC.
“It took me seven years to get to the wall. I couldn’t get to the wall. I couldn’t touch it,” he said, recalling the names of his buddies who didn’t make it back. “Today, I walk for them and I walk for their children.”
Much later, he learned from a VA doctor that his trouble sleeping and other ailments were caused by PTSD. “I didn’t have time to think about that because I was so busy thinking about my buddies who I lost and the children I see being abused and killed around the world,” he said “And I hurt because of the division I see in my country, the way I see people hurt our flag, step on it and burn it. It just doesn’t make me happy at all, so I walk for all of that.”
He said he typically walks 50 miles a day, sometimes with a Forrest Gump-like following. He said he doesn’t plan to stop until God calls him home.
In the Philippines and other places, Garcia said he is known as the walking man. “People are touched when they see the walking man walking because it is the spirit of God walking to try to bring us together, not just as a nation but as a people.”
“Marines Don’t Cry,” co-written with his wife Jackie C. Garcia, a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel, is available for pre-order at Amazon, Books-A-Million and Barns & Noble.