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May 21: 79 Miles

As I was ready to leave at 6:30 am, I stepped out of the camper to prepare Johnabilt for the road and I was met by a gentleman who just walked around the tractor. He was a big tall guy with his cowboy hat on and his name was Joseph Lyons. I said hi and he responded, “I just had to stop and thank you for what you are doing.” I asked if he is a veteran and as he answered, his head went down and I could see his pain. He said, “yes and my doctor said I have 5 years to live. I have cancer from Agent Orange from my time in Vietnam.” He signed my book and said he would be glad to share his life for our book.

We talked for awhile and he said he has no regrets and that he has had a good life and was trying to stay positive. He shook my hand and looked me in the eyes with a tear in his and said, “Thank You for what you are doing, this means so much to me.”

Wow, I kept thinking of him all day for what he went through and many others that  protect the other 99% of Americans and have no regrets, he was glad to do it for my Freedom. For our Freedom…

I pulled out of the campground with a heavy heart. I putted down the old Route 30 through the countryside, with light traffic. It was nice but I wanted to listen to some inspirational music and ponder my thoughts of earlier this morning.

Today I had a number of veterans come up to me and said thank you and one reminded me it’s not so much the monetary it’s knowing that folks care and that means a lot.

I was pulling out of the gas station and a car goes around me thumbs up and pulls over and jumps out and flags me down and flashes some green money and Johnabilt almost hit the ditch. He ran up and gave me the money through my window and said, “thanks my son joined the Marines. I appreciate what your organization is doing please keep up the good work.”

As I putted through the Ohio countryside, I didn’t see one field of corn planted and here it is getting late in May. Being a retired farmer I am sure there are a lot of distressed farmers worried, will they even get a crop this late? The yield will be down. Will they be able to pay their mortgages? My heart goes out to them. I saw a lot of machinery sitting around and fields with standing water. I stopped for coffee and chatted with a farmer he is very worried and not even sure he will get his crops planted. 

People were stopping me all day and giving donations and taking pictures different ones said we saw it on Fox News and have been following us and decided to hunt us down.

The picture is of me with Jim Sherrick. He is the one that gave me the concrete monument. He said they watched me on the Internet and hunted me down.

I was parked under a tree last night and a number of birds decided to relieve themselves on Johnabilt. I knew this because I had white splatters all over Johnabilt and I could tell he wasn’t happy. Rooster even had one on his head and he also had an attitude. I tried to wash some off before I left.

Later today while I was stopped along the road some DOT construction workers came along and I shared with them about the birds not liking me and they had the gall to say that’s what Browns fans do to PA people, we had a good laugh. I was concerned they didn’t like the green color like they were IH birds.

As I came into Van Wert I stopped in at a grocery store and soon a number of cars followed me in. One was a news reporter and did a interview she was with Times Bulletin in town.

I pulled across the street to fill up with gas and this older gentleman followed me over and as I pulled out my credit card he beat me and stuck his head in and said to fill her up. He was enjoying telling me about his 1939 JD A he had and as I left I saw him up the road couple miles pulled in a drive way watching me go by.

I pulled in at Timberwoods Camping Resort, Van Wert Ohio and the owner says welcome back here I stayed in this campground 5 years ago when I went across. Another great day in America!