COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - A Fortson, Georgia man is raising money and awareness for the House of Heroes by running across the entire state.
Most of us will spend Memorial Day weekend relaxing by the pool or enjoying a day off from work, but John Teeples is running 270 miles across the state of Georgia.
His goal is to use this run to raise funds and awareness for the local House of Heroes -- an organization that provides free repairs to homes of injured and elderly veterans.
His inspiration for the run came, when he says, he felt he hadn't yet made a difference in the world, "It's Memorial Day weekend, we've got Ft. Benning and House of Heroes, so why not? Why not use this run to draw attention to House of Heroes? They are the people and veterans that we're trying to draw attention to and this run is a vehicle in order to do that."
Members of the community, and others inspired by Teeples' journey are making donations to House of Heroes in his name. Teeples plans to end his run in Savannah, Georgia within four days.
John Teeples took off from the Infantry Museum near Ft. Benning at four o'clock Friday morning and will run through base with an escort, then head southeast for the coast.
45 year old John Teeples plans to run 270 miles, but it's not all for fun. He's taking on this challenge to help those who have served our country. He told News Leader Nine, "I'm running from Columbus to Savannah to raise money for the House of Heroes and draw attention to all these veterans in the area that need help to improve their houses."
"He's raising money for the house of Heroes and we're here to send him off," said Janet Goodman who serves on the board of directors for House of Heroes.
At 4:00 a.m. community members gathered at the Infantry Museum to offer support to Teeples before his four day trek to the coast.
Goodman said, "I think he's a dedicated individual. His gratitude to the service men and women to our country is great. I think that's what they see, is his gratitude for their love and support of their country."
Teeples added he just wanted to make a grand gesture, "I wanted to make a difference for people here in Columbus. I wanted to raise money to help folks we can see or visit or talk to."
So far Teeples has collected more than $10,000 for the House of Heroes through his website and Goodman, along with others, are really thankful, "This is a great financial boost for House of Heroes. Our organization is going to start a national program and this is a big boost for us to be able to promote this in other areas."
Teeples hopes this run will not only support the House of Heroes, but also make others realize the impact the organization makes, "I hope they see how important it is for us to support these veterans who made incredible sacrifices for us and our freedom and they'll make donation to help House of Heroes."
And just how did Teeples prepare for this 270 mile journey? He told News Leader Nine, "I've run about 80-90 miles a week for 8 or 9 weeks straight, plus I've been running for 28 years so it's been a long, lengthy process.... Call me in four days and hopefully I'll be done."