Central VA veteran prepares to tackle Appalachian Trail for Green Beret Foundation

Updated: Apr. 4, 2017 at 2:13 PM EDT
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PRINCE GEORGE, VA (WWBT) - One foot in front of the other. One mile at a time.

That's Johnny Mullen's plan of attack, as he gears up to hike the Appalachian Trail.

"Walk for 50 (minutes), take a 10-minute break. Stop for lunch. I'm not there to set a land speed record. I'm there for fun," said the Prince George County resident.

On Tuesday, Mullen began a 119-mile, 10-day journey, making his way from Springer Mountain, Georgia, to Wayha, North Carolina.

"You've got to eat right. You get out, you walk, you go to the gym. If you don't, the mountain will hurt you," Mullen said.

In North Carolina, he'll pass the torch, or rather his regimental flag, to one of his brother's in arms, who'll hike the next stretch of the trail.

Mullen is taking part in a relay to raise $100,000 for the Green Beret Foundation. The organization helps wounded and fallen Green Berets and their families.

Mullen himself was in Special Forces and spent two years in Vietnam.

"The brotherhood. It goes back to the brotherhood. The guys that you serve with ... you know if stuff gets bad they are there regardless," he said.

Mullen packed up enough supplies for three days, and then he will stock up at re-supply routes along the trail.

Although the trip is physically and mentally demanding, he says he's walking to honor his Special Forces brothers who cannot.

"I can do it, and a lot of guys can't that would love to," Mullen said. "I don't think about nothing. It's a way to get away from everything. You have no troubles other than left, foot, right foot repeat."

In addition to donations, Mullen says they also need help stocking the resupply routes along the trail.

For more information, head over to greenberetat.org.

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