Veteran walks across America
FLUVANNA COUNTY, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- A former Charlottesville resident passed through Virginia on his 2023 Walk USA.
Matt Dyer set out 68 days ago to accomplish a task that has never been done before.
“But the route I’m doing nobody’s ever done this before. So, from Maine, down to Florida, across to San Diego, then up to Olympia, Washington, doing the four corners,” he said.
He has an unusual reason for what he's doing.
“Because I want to. The second that I start caring more about like maintaining an image online, or doing something because someone else wants me to, then this stops being what it is, something for me, and it starts being a show. And that’s not what I’m trying to do here,” said Dyer.
He believes in challenging himself mentally and physically but isn’t raising awareness of any particular cause.
“Everyone always assumes that there has to be something that you’re raising awareness for or raising money for, it like, people was doing stuff like this and challenging themselves before the Internet. Before everything needed a label attached to it,” Dyer said.
Dyer used to work as an analyst for the military, which stopped him from accomplishing his dreams of walking coast to coast but he decided enough was enough. He wanted to live his life.
“I hung up my keyboard as I like to say. I was an intel analyst so my job was a lot of sitting at a desk and typing,” he said.
He finds the strength to keep going during the long days by reflecting on his late loved ones.
“The things that I have been through in my personal life are the things that made me able to do this. You know what is hard? Losing your wife when you’re 23 years old. Losing your dad when he’s only 58. And my wife and my dad specifically those are the things that made me strong enough to do stuff like this,” Dyer said.
He shares that he often looks at the stars on his night walks because one constellation, in particular, reminds him of his late wife.
“Valentine's Day 2014, I bought her a star in the Orion Constellation and now when I’m walking at night if it’s a clear sky it’s always visible here. So, it seems like it’s right above me. So that’s always a thought at the front of my mind,” Dyer shared.
As part of his journey, Dyer has rejoined social media after not being on it for six years. He now has 9,000 followers on his 2023 Walk USA.