An Afghanistan veteran embarking on eight-month hike across the country to honor fallen troops is holding a pair of kick-off events in Pierce County this week.
Former Army Capt. Mike Viti plans to walk at least one kilometer for each of the 6,654 military service members killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.
He’s beginning his journey Saturday in DuPont’s Powderworks Park in a partnership with another group dedicated to honoring the wars’ fallen, Wear Blue Run to Remember. The “step-off” party at the park begins at 8:30 a.m., Saturday.
On the eve of the trek, Viti and supporters are gathering at Tacoma’s Asia Pacific Cultural Center for a fundraiser, raffle and auction. They’ll have food and music, too. That “send-off” party begins at 5:30 p.m., Friday at the cultural center, 4851 South Tacoma Way.
Viti is a Pennsylvania native and former West Point football captain working with the nonprofit Freedom Has a Face to honor fallen troops. Freedom Has a Face has its roots in Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s Army Ranger community.