Air Force veteran walks for cancer patients, other veterans

GREENVILLE – An area veteran says he wants help during Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Air Force veteran Daniel Gorchals begins to walk from Fremont. His destination is Appleton, nearly 26 miles away.

For Daniel Gorchals, carrying a 30-pound pack, in combat gear, for miles at a time isn’t new. But the 26-year-old Air Force veteran says the distance is.

“I think that if my mom and some of the people that have been closest me, that have been affected by breast cancer, can go through all their treatments and beat breast cancer, I think I can walk to Appleton to raise awareness and money for them,” said Gorchals.

Gorchals is taking the route his mother has taken to get to the Martha Siekman Cancer Center since June. He wants to raise $6,000 with half going to the Appleton Medical Center and the rest to Operation Muskie, a veterans fishing program.

“He came up with it all on his own and asked me if I thought it was a good idea. I thought it was an amazing idea,” said Nancy Gorchals, Daniel’s mother.

Daniel’s father, a Waupaca County sheriff’s deputy, served as police escort.

Friends and supporters flanked him along the way.

“I don’t know him at all. I was at work and read it in the paper and I thought he might want someone to ruck with,” said Klay Konrad, an Army veteran from Kaukauna. “A lot of people do a lot of stuff for people in the military and we can’t always give back.”

Nearly seven hours after he set out.

“When I said it was going to be the most physically demanding thing that I’ve ever done, I was totally right,” said Gorchals.

Gorchals completed what he set out to do, but work still needs to be done.

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