‘There’s a lot of positive in the world. We just forgot how to see it.’

Staff Writer

If you were driving down U.S. 27S in Decatur Friday, you might have noticed an unusual sight — a van adorned with the American flag on one side and a Wounded Warrior flag on the other, and a lone man walking just ahead of it, toting an oxygen tank behind him.
Perhaps you thought the man’s car had broken down and stopped to help what you assumed to be a person in need. If so, you weren’t alone. According to Jerry Meadows, hundreds of people stop their cars to talk to him each day. Some offer assistance, some offer money and some just want selfies. Everyone who stops has one thing in common — after talking to Jerry, they don’t go away dry-eyed.
Jerry’s walk across American began one year ago today in Bemidji, Minnesota. A veteran of the United States Air Force, where he served in the Vietnam War with two temporary duty travels to Laos, Jerry was living on a fixed income with his wife of eight years, Virginia, and he knew very well the value of non-profit organizations for veterans.
In a time of need, Jerry was approached by the Wounded Warrior Project; representatives told him to call if he ever needed help. It was this show of compassion that motivated Jerry to begin a journey which would change not just his life, but countless others along the way.
Jerry and Virginia gave up their family home in March, 2019, affixed two flags to the back of their vehicle and hit the road with Virginia behind the wheel and Jerry marching in front, oxygen tank in tow. With a few short breaks to make repairs — and eventually replace the vehicle he started out with — Jerry has traveled 800 miles on foot in the past year.
See Saturday's edition of the Daily Democrat for the full story.