'Paul is a great example of one person choosing to make a difference': An update on the vet who is set to hike 2,190 miles to raise money for others that will inspire

In April we wrote about Paul Gaumond, who next year will embark on a long journey of 2,190 miles along the Appalachian Trail to raise money for others who served, giving back to them after they gave to their country.

The 59-year-old told us at the time: “I will be raising funds for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation to ensure the children of fallen soldiers from Special Operations have funding for their college education,” he explains. “100% of the donations will go to the foundation.”

Gaumond is hoping to raise $25,000, which will be used for college scholarships for the surviving children of fallen Special
Operations Service Members; family and educational counseling, including in-home tutoring; and an immediate $5,000.00 financial grants to severely combat wounded Special Operations Service Members.

A man, with a tremendously big heart.

As it turns out, more and more people are throwing their support behind Paul’s selfless efforts.

“The last time you posted an article about me hiking the Appalachian Trail for Special Operations Warrior Foundation it was a huge fundraiser and made many people aware of what I’m doing,” he tells us.

Paul shared with us this exciting new announcement below:

Appalachian Trail Randolph-Macon Article 5-2017

A recent article about Paul’s efforts connected with Chris Peter, instructor at Randolph-Macon Academy in Front Royal, Virginia.  Chris contacted Paul and set in motion a variety of fundraising efforts, including a bake sale during Randolph-Macon’s recent 125th Anniversary Celebration Weekend.  Paul and his wife traveled from their home in Asheville, North Carolina, to Front Royal on April 28 to take part in the weekend’s events.  This visit provided an opportunity for Paul to meet with students, faculty and the administration of the Academy.  When Paul’s hike takes him through Front Royal next year, he will visit the Academy with his fellow hikers to share his experiences with Front Royal students.  “I am very moved by the passion the students, faculty, parents and administration shared about this cause.  I appreciate the funds they have raised and continue to raise towards this effort. I was so impressed with everyone I met at the Academy.”

While on campus, Paul met with Brigadier General David Wesley, USAF, Retired, and President of Randolph-Macon Academy.  General Wesley expressed strong support for the cause of the SOWF and discussed the potential to provide scholarships for children of fallen or wounded soldiers.

“Paul is a great example of one person choosing to make a difference,” said Gen Wesley. “He has the sort of attitude we want to hold up to our students as an example.”

Heather Grossman, an R-MA parent and a board member of the R-MA Parents’ Association, was instrumental in organizing the weekend’s fund raising efforts.  “The focus on helping others is part of what I love about R-MA,” said Heather. “My children have had the opportunity to be involved in many different community service projects at R-MA and through those projects, have learned about worldwide concerns. I have been honored to participate in many of those projects with my children. In this case, I was particularly glad to help because supporting a veteran charity is a personal passion of mine, and it was awesome to be able to meet both Paul and his wife. They are great people.”

Paul with his wife

Indeed, they are.

When we asked Paul what Memorial Day meant to him, he replied: “Memorial Day is for remembering fallen soldiers and their families. It means giving thanks to those that did not come home and to their families. Let them not be forgotten.”

He adds: “Kindness & Hope is special because it allows me to share memories and make many people across our great nation more aware of Special Operations and the sacrifices they make so we can continue to live the lives we have and offer a future for our children.”

To mark Memorial Day and as a gesture to a man who is determined to make a difference in the world, please donate so he can help others using this direct link: www.gofundme.com/Paul-gaumond

So far, Paul has raised $9,694 — let’s all, as a nod of respect to those who served, help him reach his $25,000 goal.

We will be continuing to track Paul’s progress and posting updates.
Paul likes to hike five to six miles every other day. He is pictured here on the Mountain to Sea Trail

Article by melissa

I don't really have a conventional bio because I have followed my instincts, and my heart and lived life to the fullest. Live. Love. Laugh