Jimmy Wayne Reunites With Soldier on ‘Halfway’ Trek
Jimmy Wayne is approaching Oklahoma City on his project Meet Me Halfway walk across America. And this week, the singer was reunited with Lt. Col. Jason Garkey who took a special leave of absence from duty to walk with the singer in January.
"Having him out again is awesome," Jimmy tells The Boot. "We're going to walk 20 miles per day except for one day we're going to try to walk 30 miles."
"It's nice to get back out and pick up where I left off," Lt. Col. Garkey adds. "I told Jimmy that it's similar to what you run into with your military friends when you don't see them for a long time ... you sit down and talk to them like you talked to them last week."
Lt. Col. Garkey was able to take an entire week off to walk with Jimmy due to the fact that he's on spring break from the University of Richmond where he's a professor teaching the seniors who will become second Lieutenants of the United States Army. He also teaches a wellness elective to 46 students which he says is a "survival class." The program is affiliated with the U.S. Army's 'March 2 Success' website that helps anyone improve their knowledge and test scores in the areas of Language Arts, Mathematics and Science. 'March 2 Success' provides materials to help improve on standardized tests such as the SAT and ACT.
"Someone in California can go to that website and get involved with that information," says Lt. Col. Garkey. "It's not designed to put kids in the Army; it's designed to make them better citizens. It's to make sure they have the right tools so they can do the maximum to their ability, especially with the demographic we're talking about with Jimmy's campaign. That's exactly what we're looking for. These kids hit 18 and they need to make sure they have the resources so that they can continue on and do the best that they can do as apposed to being forced into a box where they don't have the ability."
Through their special bond and friendship, Jimmy and Lt. Col. Garkey have put their heads together to find a way to join their two organizations together to help better the teens.
"It's important that these kids not only have the resources they need when they age out of the [foster-care] system, but also have the education," says Jimmy. "That needs to be a priority. That should be available for them. It's a long run, but somebody's got to do it. If everybody waited on somebody else to do something, it would never get done."