US Troops Awareness Honor Walk Saturday morning along the Canal

Honor Walk to raise awareness for troops, veterans and Gold Star Families

Public encouraged to join in and walk

On Saturday, February 20, 2010 at 8 a.m. Tom Lynch of Sandwich will walk along the Cape Cod Canal to raise awareness for U.S. Troops serving overseas, military veterans, and Gold Star Families who have lost loved ones in battle.

Mr. Lynch came up with the idea as a way to honor United States Marine Corporal Nicholas G. Xiarhos and all the fallen troops from Cape Cod who have sacrificed their lives in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Corporal Xiarhos was killed in action in Afghanistan on July 23, 2009. Last Friday, February 12, would have been his 22nd birthday.

“After talking with Nicholas’ father, Steven Xiarhos, I decided that Iwould walk 22 miles to represent Nicholas’ 22 years. I will place a small American flag at each mile walked for each ofNicholas’ birthdays, and to honor all our local Gold Star Families’loved ones.” - Tom Lynch

The Honor Walk takes on even more significance, as United States Marines and Afghan soldiers launched Operation Moshtrarak on February 12, a major offensive against the Taliban in Marja, Afghanistan. Corporal Xiarhos’ unit, 2nd Battalion 8th Marine Regiment, paved the way for this latest campaign to reassert the dominance of the Afghan government and flush out the Taliban. Now more than ever, the American people at home need to support our troops in harm’s way.

“After talking with Nicholas’ father, Steven Xiarhos, I decided that I would walk 22 miles to represent Nicholas’ 22 years,” Mr. Lynch said. “I will place a small American flag at each mile walked for each of Nicholas’ birthdays, and to honor all our local Gold Star Families’ loved ones,” he continued.

Mr. Lynch will start his walk at the Buzzards Bay train bridge end of the Canal, mainland side and will walk back and forth along that side of the canal until he has walked the entire 22 miles.

Members of the public are welcome to participate in the Honor Walk for any segment or the entire walk.

The Honor Walk will be in remembrance of the following fallen Marines and soldiers who have ties to Cape Cod:

  • United States Army Sergeant Mark R. Vecchione of Eastham
  • United States Army Sergeant Alexander H. Fuller of Barnstable
  • United States Army Sergeant Zachary D. Tellier of Falmouth
  • United States Army Staff Sergeant Alicia A. Birchett of Mashpee
  • United States Army Private First Class Paul E. Conlon of Mashpee
  • United States Marine Private First Class Daniel A. C. McGuire of Mashpee
  • United States Marine Captain Eric J. Jones of Mashpee.
  • United States Marine Corporal Nicholas G. Xiarhos of Yarmouth

Mr. Lynch will be carrying his son Kenneth’s Navy flag for this walk. Kenneth Lynch is a United States Navy Seaman E3 currently in IT school in Pensacola, Florida awaiting orders to report to his ship.

Mr. Lynch has completed two other long distance walks to raise awareness for U.S. Troops serving overseas. In March 2008 he walked from Bourne to Boston carrying his son Daniel’s Army Airborne flag. United States Army Specialist Daniel Lynch served with the 173rd Airborne Brigade from 2007 – 2009, including a tour in Afghanistan. In June 2008, Mr. Lynch walked from Bourne to Provincetown to raise money for Cape Cod Cares For Our Troops, which sends weekly care packages to active duty troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Mr. Lynch continues to be actively involved with Cape Cod Cares For Our Troops. The group’s founder, Dylan DeSilva, sent Mr. Lynch’s son Daniel a care package in 2007 while he was serving in Afghanistan. Dylan DeSilva, who launched his non-profit organization in 2005 when he was 12-years-old, has sent over 7,000 care packages to date. Dylan DeSilva’s efforts deeply touched Mr. Lynch and his family, which compelled Mr. Lynch to “pay it forward” by volunteering for the group and raising awareness for U.S. Troops through his Honor Walks.

Donations to Cape Cod Cares For Our Troops can be made via the group’s web site at www.capecod4thetroops.com. The organization will be holding its 2nd Annual Canal Run for the Troops on Saturday, August 21, 2010 along the Cape Cod Canal.

Courtesy of Cape Cod Cares For Our Troops.

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