Among all the students returning to campus this weekend walks senior Shawn Hatch, whose summer was spent rollerblading across the country in an effort to raise money for the Wounded Warrior Project.
Hatch became the first person to complete the 3,107 mile journey between New York and California. His amazing trip took 66 days to complete, an average of 47 miles per day. Despite the physical and mental wear, Hatch kept the thoughts of disabled and wounded soldiers, pressing on to help raise $10,250 for the fund.
The 22-year old Massena native wore out two pairs of skates and more than 30 spare wheels. In all, Hatch passed through the deserts, mountains and forests of 12 states. Between Hollywood and New York, Hatch camped out next to dozens of hospitable Elks Lodges and American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Veterans posts with his father, Floyd, in a 1986 Winnebago.
Even though he ate 6 meals per day, Hatch still lost 22 pounds and added plenty of muscle on his journey. The sweat that pooled off his body ate at his pack, and Hatch had to secure is American flag that flew honorably behind him.
Along the way, Hatch met many inspiring people, including soldiers, veterans, and other passers-by.
Rightfully so, the Massena community is expected to give Hatch a hero's welcome Saturday, September 11.
If you would like to donate to the Wounded Warrior Project through Hatch's fund, please go to www.shawnhatch.com.
To read the complete story on Shawn Hatch's amazing adventure, visit http://www.potsdam.edu/newsandevents/