[PHOTOS BY: TYLER WAY]
To break up the long, eight-hour drive from Assateague National Seashore to Charlotte, we spent a night in Cabela’s parking lot in Garner. The next morning while we were getting ready to drive the last three hours to Charlotte, we got a knock on our door.
Unsurprisingly, a knock isn’t what you want to hear while you’re spending the knock in a parking lot. As much as you can prepare for nights spent in parking lots by calling ahead and speaking to management to ensure that they allow overnight parking, you still kind of brace yourself for a knock on the door by some sort of official.
Neither security nor the police, it was a middle-aged man on the other side of our door, curious what it was that we do. After Tyler gave him a quick synopsis of [HAS HEART] and the whole 50 States tour, the gentleman thanked us for our service and shared that he’s a retired Army Commander who served all over the world for over 30 years. With a Cabela’s bag still in his hand, he said he wanted to grab something from his car for us.
He returned with two challenge coins. To this day he stays in contact with the men and women who served with him, citing that their fight doesn’t end when they get home. For some, the fight might get more difficult and complicated. With a firm handshake, he thanked us for what we were doing and gave us the challenge coins as a small token of appreciation and encouragement to keep going.
And so we went on.