MILLINOCKET — After six months, four U.S. military veterans have completed their hike of the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine, ending with a celebration at the summit of Mount Katahdin.
The 2,185-mile Warrior Hike, called "Walk Off The War," gives veterans a chance to process their wartime experiences while hiking with others who have been through the same thing. It is designed to help them transition from military to civilian life.
Fourteen started the hike in Georgia; four finished and two others who left the trail returned on Friday for the final hike and celebration. They planned to gather at the American Legion Post 80 in Millinocket for a barbecue on Saturday night.
Local veterans and community groups along the trail also offered support by transporting the hikers to and from the trail, putting them up for the night in lodges and at their homes and taking them out to dinner, the hike's founder Marine Corps Capt. Sean Gobin said.
Hiking the trail forces these veterans, some of whom may be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and feel isolated, to socialize, Gobin said.