Veterans and Community Members Walk and Roll in Fargo “VA 2K”

147 people participated in the annual event to raise awareness for homeless veterans

FARGO, N.D. — On a picture–perfect Wednesday afternoon, people could walk or roll around the premises of the Fargo VA, all to support a good cause.

“[Homeless veterans is] a real issue right now, and what we need to do is be able to support them in that time of need, and frequently, they need food, basic necessities of food,” said Rachael Mustachia, a registered nurse at the Fargo VA who helped organize the eighth annual “Walk and Roll”.

The National Alliance to End Homeless estimates that there are nearly 40,000 homeless veterans in the United States, 151 of which live in North Dakota.

In addition to the walk, people could donate non–perishable food items to help the homeless veterans.

“We put together something like 50 baskets of food last year to distribute not only to homeless individuals, but also we have many, many veterans housed who live way below the poverty line,” said Michael Danielski, a Grants and Per Diem Liason for the Fargo VA.

Right after fourth and fifth graders from Longfellow Elementary belted out the national anthem, veterans began their quest to finish the 2K walk.

“I think it’s the whole atmosphere of trying to get ourselves healthier and stuff. A lot of times that’s tough to do, but if you have a group thing or more people are participating, it’s not so hard,” said David Stastny, an engineer at the Fargo VA.

In addition to working for the VA, Stastny is also a veteran. He says it was a great experience to complete the walk alongside his brothers in arms.

“We need to stick together and encourage each other in any way that’s possible. Otherwise, it’s too easy for so many veterans to feel down and not upbeat about their situation,” said Stastny.

As people step across the finish line, they hope there is a brighter future for every homeless veteran.

This year 147 people participated in the local VA 2K.

43 of those participants were veterans.

Categories: Community, Local News, North Dakota News