Thursday, July 3, 2008

Florida Woman Celebrates July 4th Walking Across America to Honor Veterans

BUSINESS WIRE--She’s walking with a purpose and it is not to lose weight or raise money. Her name is Keela Carr and she is about half way across the United States on her way to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. and Arlington National Cemetery to show support for our troops and honor Veterans. Carr began her “Journey of a Thousand Thanks” in Barstow, California.

The U.S. Army’s Freedom Team Salute (FTS) Program has recognized Carr’s efforts and named her its 500th Volunteer Ambassador. Freedom Team Salute honors all discharged Army Veterans and the Spouses, Parents, Supporters, and Employers of all Soldiers. Carr will be honored as a strong Army supporter and receive a FTS Commendation consisting of a certificate and a letter signed by the Secretary of the Army, Peter Geren and Army Chief of Staff, General George Casey, at a special ceremony at Arlington Cemetery.

“July 4th is our Nation’s birthday and everyone in the United States should pause and take time to thank our Veterans and our deployed troops who are serving in harm’s way,” said Carr. “Freedom isn’t free. In fact, it is very expensive. Tens of thousands of brave men and women continue to make sacrifices to defend the United States and protect the freedoms we all take for granted.”

Carr says Americans have traditionally attended parades, barbecues, and fireworks on July 4th. She said the time we spend with family members and friends on our Nation’s birthday is important but remembering our Nation’s Soldiers is a must.

“Walking across America is my way of giving back,” said Carr. “The inspiration for my walk developed after I made a visit to Walter Reed last year and saw some of the severely wounded Soldiers. After leaving the hospital I decided to raise awareness for them and all Veterans. On July 4th, all Americans should find a way to say thank you and give back to our Soldiers and Veterans.”

“Keela Carr is on a mission,” said Colonel David Griffith, Director of the Army’s Freedom Team Salute Program. “It takes a special person to decide to leave their loved ones, job, and other activities to walk across America in support of Veterans and our active duty Soldiers. She is selfless and demonstrates her commitment to our Nation as she takes each step toward Walter Reed Medical Center in support of our troops.”

“When I arrive in D.C. I will be carrying a quilt made by the wives of World War II Veterans,” said Carr. “I’ll deliver the quilt to one of the severely injured Soldiers in the Wounded Warrior Project at Walter Reed to show him and others that people in America do care about our Soldiers.”

Keela Carr is 35 years old and originally from Danville, Illinois. She now makes her home in Apopka, Florida, outside of Orlando. Carr has been a personal trainer for 11 years specializing in rehabilitation, weight loss, post natal fitness and sports training.

Freedom Team Salute is a U.S. Army program launched in May 2005, by the Secretary of the Army and Army Chief of Staff to give the public the opportunity to thank Army Veterans for their service by recognizing them with Commendations. The program also provides the opportunity for Soldiers to thank Parents, a Spouse, Employers, and individual Supporters who make significant contributions to Soldiers and the Army mission. Freedom Team Salute has honored more than 1.3 million individuals over the past 3 years. For more information on becoming a Freedom Team Salute Ambassador or to honor a Veteran, go to

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