- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 8, 2014

ROCKLAND, Mich. (AP) - Two thousand one hundred eighteen miles. That’s how far Rockland is from San Jose, Calif.

It’s also how many miles Jenny Kanniainen is running on her treadmill. What would possess someone to run over 2,000 miles?

Kanniainen said she’s running to raise money to help construct a building to permanently house a piece of the Vietnam Veterans Moving Wall Memorial in White Pine.

“I figured if I could get pledges per mile or maybe just straight up donations from people that would support me to raise money for the wall,” she told WLUC-TV (https://bit.ly/1sgPxhL ).

Previously headquartered in San Jose, the moving wall’s founder, who is Kanniainen’s brother-in-law, moved to White Pine with his family a few years ago and took the memorabilia with him to set up a museum here.

The founder’s wife, Joy Devitt, said they wanted to set up the museum somewhere that regional veterans could easily access it.

“Why in White Pine? Well, I figure any other monuments that are across the United States that people go and visit, they will come, and they will enjoy seeing it when we can make it a reality,” said Devitt.

It’s been in the works since last July, and Kanniainen said only a couple thousand dollars have been raised since then. She said she isn’t sure exactly how much it’s going to cost yet.

Since the beginning of March, she runs about seven miles a day, which takes her just under an hour and a half each morning before work, and she’s already made it as far as Duluth.

“I have 239 miles to run from Duluth, Minnesota to Fargo, North Dakota,” she said. “That’s my next leg of the journey.”

It’ll take her about 200 days to finish the run. She said they hope to have funds raised and the project in process in about three years.

“It’s for the community, it’s for the Vietnam veterans, their families,” said Kanniainen. “They’re still having a hard time with having to go to Vietnam, and the way things were, and when they came back. It’s very strong emotions for Vietnam veterans and their families yet to this day. We want to put the museum together to let people come and learn about the history of it and see some of the artifacts.”


Information from: WLUC-TV, https://www.wluctv6.com

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