2011-04-08 / National News

Man’s plan to walk 500 miles to Washington is ‘God’s work’

By LARRY HILLIARD Ledger Staff Writer larry@gaffneyledger.com


Cherokee County Council Chairman Tim Spencer presents Clinton resident Leonard Pitts with a resolution, declaring June 1 of each year “With Great Honor” Day — a day to recognize those now serving in the military and to bring awareness of programs available to veterans. Cherokee County Council Chairman Tim Spencer presents Clinton resident Leonard Pitts with a resolution, declaring June 1 of each year “With Great Honor” Day — a day to recognize those now serving in the military and to bring awareness of programs available to veterans. Dressed in a neatly pressed dark business suit Friday afternoon, Clinton resident Leonard Pitts addressed Cherokee County Council and received a resolution.

His attire will be a bit more casual soon when he embarks on a 500-mile walk to Washington, D.C., to raise money for the USO.

The USO is an organization dedicated to raising the spirits of United States Armed Forces and their familiies.

Pitts told council members he decided to do the walk as part of Team USO to raise money through sponsors and donations to support the USO.

According to Pitts, Cherokee County is home to nearly 5,000 veterans. Of that number, 200 to 250 are actively serving.

Pitts, who said he has a brother who lives on Beech Street, plans to begin the walk June 1. He hopes to walk around 18 to 23 miles a day.

In a press release, Pitts said he came up with the idea while watching a commercial with President Barack Obama, who was speaking about the USO.

“It was like President Obama was talking directly to me and I could have sworn he mentioned USO. To this day, no one has ever heard about this commercial,” Pitts said. “It was like God’s work.”

After Pitts concluded his prepared statement, Cherokee County Council Chairman Tim Spencer thanked Pitts for his efforts and added it was unclear if the county would have the funds available during this tight budget year to make a donation.

However, residents can make a taxdeductable donation on site or by e-mailing Pitts at l.pitts@nubreed.org.

Pitts said he will provide more details on the walk at a press conference May 18 at the Greenville Marriott Hotel.

Cherokee County Council presented Pitts with a resolution, similar to the one passed by the State of South Carolina lawmakers, in support of “With Great Honor” Day on June 1 — a day in which state residents honor the active military service men and women. The purpose of “With Great Honor” Day also is to bring awareness of all the programs available to the troops and their families.

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