Woman Walks 2,700 Miles to Thank Troops

This is a rush transcript from "America's Election HQ," August 8, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

HEATHER NAUERT, HOST: Here's a question for you - how far would you go to thank our troops for fighting for our country? Our next guest went 2,700 miles on foot to do that. Thirty-five-year-old Keela Carr is from Florida - she began her "Journey of a Thousand Thanks" - that's what it's called - on May 26 from Barstow, California. She just completed the final leg of her cross country walk just moments ago at Arlington National Cemetery. Keela's goal was to personally thank 1,000 or more members of our armed forces for the work that they do every single day. So did she accomplish that? This proud American citizen is here with us now. Hi, Keela.


Video: Watch Heather's interivew with Keela Carr

NAUERT: First, let me start off by saying thank you so much for what you did. Really, that is incredible. What made you decide to walk all the way across the country - and Barstow, California, folks - if you've never been there, it's practically Death Valley.

CARR: That's true. To answer your question, I got the privilege of going to Walter Reed Army Medical Center last year, and it was a life-changing moment for me. It was just amazing and I was on fire and just wanted to thank the veterans and men and women in uniform for what they do for me, for what life I have because of them.

NAUERT: Now, you're not in the military but I understand a family member of yours served in Vietnam. So there was no really - other than that, no family connection that caused you to decide to do this. It is just because you wanted to thank them yourself.

CARR: Right.

NAUERT: OK. Now, you sold your home. You sold your belongings to raise the money to do this and it took you two and a half months. How much money did you need to make this trip?

CARR: Well, I didn't sell my home. I was renting a town home.


CARR: But just so I would not be encumbered with worrying about my belongings, I sold everything. And I needed probably about $40,000 to do it. But we ended up doing it - when I say we, I mean me - I ended up doing it with just the bare minimum and just grinding through every day, getting it done.

NAUERT: Good for you. Now what did you say to the veterans along the way and what did say to you?

CARR: When I got to meet them, I told them who I was and what I was doing and that I was looking for them. I wanted to thank them for their service and that I was very happy and took it personally that they served and that I have had such a great life in this country because of what they had done.

And they looked at me and said, "No, thank you." So we always had a little moment of thanking each other. But it was awesome.

NAUERT: We have just have a few seconds left, but did you ever think about quitting along the way? It must have been pretty tough at some point.

CARR: No, it was important to me. It was important for me to finish this and do something. And everybody can do something. Not everybody is considering walking across the country, but you can do anything. There are a lot of military charities where they waiting for people to get involved.

NAUERT: Keela, you're absolutely right. Everybody can do something. And we thank you for helping to give us the inspiration to do just that. Keela Carr, thank you so much, walking 2,700 miles across the United States for our troops.

Thanks for watching "America's Election Headquarters". I'm Heather Nauert.

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