- Associated Press - Saturday, July 18, 2015

ORMOND BEACH, Fla. (AP) - The wife of one Florida soldier stationed in Afghanistan is inspiring others to support and remember the troops.

The Daytona Beach News-Journal (https://bit.ly/1Mcjp9z ) reported on Saturday that Debbie Kruck began walking the same route every day near her Ormond Beach home soon after her husband deployed. Her first walk on March 29 coincided with Vietnam Veterans Day.

She carries a 60-pound rucksack on her back and wears camouflage fatigues when she walks two miles each day across the Halifax River on the Granada Bridge. Neighbors began to join in the walks and formed Ormond Strong, a group that sends care packages and letters to the 200 area soldiers stationed in Afghanistan.

Kruck said the daily walks have helped her cope with husband’s deployment and to find support and encouragement from her community.

So far, the group has raised enough money to send 64 care packages overseas.

Kruck told the newspaper she wanted to turn her own experience into something positive for others.

Among those who have joined in the walks are some Vietnam Veterans including Bob Bendlin, 71, director of the Vietnam Veternas of America in Daytona Beach.

“We were totally forgotten and our goal is to never let another veteran be forgotten,” he said

“Even though I retired from the military in 1990, it’s like I never left. This revives the spirit of the Vietnam veterans and makes us feel valuable again. That’s a very strong feeling.”

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Information from: Daytona Beach (Fla.) News-Journal, https://www.news-journalonline.com


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