JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – A Jacksonville native returned home Monday after walking more than one thousand miles to spend Martin Luther King Jr. Day giving back to those who serve our nation.
Robert Rosendary’s first stop was the Vietnam Memorial, where he payed respect to his late father, who served in the Vietnam War.
“I started off in Indio, California,” Rosendary said. “I’ve walked physically 1,150 miles.”
Rosendary is on a unity march from California to Washington D.C.
“I walked a little further, but his impact was a little bigger,” said Rosensday. “But it’s huge to me now because of the whole unification. That’s what he was doing. He was walking to unite us all.”
While in Jacksonville, he spent the day in service. Rosendary brought with him 100 flags to place around the Camp Lejeune Memorial Gardens.
“This was the best way to honor my father and his memory: to come back here and the Marines,” Rosendary said. “I have a healthy respect for them. My father’s one of them. Jacksonville, I grew up here. This is my hometown, so why not come back here.”
He’s passed out nearly 175 flags on his journey so far.
“It’s to unite all Americans,” said Rosendary. “Doesn’t matter if you’re black American, Asian American, Muslim and so on; it’s to bring us all back to the table.”
On his back is 60 pounds of gear and a walking stick on his belt.
This is the last stretch of his journey, with only 1,200 more miles to go.
His goal is to stand where Martin Luther King Jr. once stood.
“I’m going to go stand where he stood,” said Rosendary. “When I put my feet in his footprints that is when it is over for me. And I’m going to leave a flag right there.”
Rosendary said he plans to stop through Jacksonville again on his way back from D.C.
He is also taking a ledger around with him to each place he stops and asking people to sign it.
The ledger will be given to President-elect Trump on Inauguration Day to show him Americans are uniting.