Marine veteran treks country for fallen firefighters

Just after noon on the Lincoln Highway in Chambersburg, 57-year-old Lance Robinson comes into view.

“I did 600 miles in Florida alone,” he said.

Some passing drivers beep, some wave, but most pass by a bit too fast to take notice to Robinson and the red, white and blue wagon he is pushing.

Physically, I am as strong as a horse. The Lord picked a good horse for this hike, that’s for sure,” he said.

The Pennsylvania native and Marine Corps veteran has walked his way through 33 states in three years.

His latest journey, the “343 Memorial Hike,” now takes him through the Midstate.

“We were all just hanging out in the fire house yesterday and he really just walked in out of the blue,” said Glen Smith of Franklin Fire Co. 4.

That’s how it typically happens. Robinson stops and introduces himself, and in this case was offered a place to stay for the Memorial Day weekend, along with some assistance on the highway.

“I’ve slept under bridges. I’ve slept in the woods. I’ve been fortunate to sleep in fire houses, motels, people homes. I am after this for honor and that is it.” Robinson said.

He notes that one of his proudest moments came somewhere in Kentucky. Robinson had been walking past an elementary school when suddenly all of the children came out to the road and sang “God Bless the USA” as he passed.

Robinson says that he walks for those moments and to honor the footsteps of the fallen. His hope is to raise $25,000 for the Fallen Firefighters Foundation.

He departed May 10 from the Flight 93 Memorial in Shanksville and is now on his way to the Pentagon.

“For him to be doing this for all of us and other firefighters as well and police, it means a lot to all of us,” Smith said.

Robinson’s strides are strong and steady, his destination clear. This 343-mile walk will lead him to Ground Zero in New York City.

“I pray to God that he takes me there and I am able to visit the point of disaster and turmoil that this country has faced for the last 14 years,” he said. “It’s not over. We are still at war. Until the American people understand that, every day is Memorial Day, every single day.”

Robinson was invited to join Chambersburg’s Memorial Day parade. He welcomes anyone to come out and say Hello.

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