JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – A veteran from Colorado is back in Eastern North Carolina to honor the fallen from the Beirut bombing on October 23, 1983.
Step by step, Paul “Doc” Doolittle will be walking 273 miles throughout the month of October in honor of each of the fallen.
He enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1980, traveling to Beirut shortly after the attacks.
“They’re all my brothers. So we all have that camaraderie. It’s ingrained in us from the beginning. So I don’t really need to know them,” said Doolittle.
In 2008, Doolittle began doing his walk.
“Over time, I have met a number of their family members, and I know a few survivors. And it’s really an honor to be able to be out here to try and make sure that their family members and their fellow Marines and soldiers and sailors are not forgotten,” he said.
Doolittle said he walks for around nine hours every few days, attempting to reach 15 miles a day.
“The accountability for the mileage is self-imposed. The people that I walk for, and those family members and survivors have no expectation for me to walk every one of those miles. But that’s my personal commitment,” said Doolittle.
He will be walking his last two miles on the anniversary.
“That was inspired by my friend Lynn Spencer, whose husband Stephen Spencer, and her brother, James Silvia are both inscribed on that wall,” Doolittle said.
With the support from others who have served, he is determined to reach his goal.
“Other Marines that I served with, and their expressions to me, are most meaningful because the dedication that it takes to be a Marine or to become a Marine is immense. But once we are given that title, it never goes away,” he said.
Within 11 days of his walk, he’s already past the halfway point.