LIFE

Nearly 100-Year-Old Veteran Vows To Take 100 Walks, Tell 100 Stories, In Fundraising Effort

by Angela Andaloro

Captain Tom Moore’s massive fundraising effort has inspired other veterans to give back. Among them is Ray Burns.

The Colorado resident is a veteran of World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the Cold War era.

“We saw the article regarding Tom Moore’s program, what he was doing, we decided … why can’t we do it?” Ray told CBS4 Denver.

Ray will celebrate his 100th birthday in August. Ray vows to take 100 walks and tell 100 stories by then to encourage donations to Mile High United Way, Operation USA, and Feeding America.

“I love my country and do everything I can to make it a better country,” Ray explained.

“Tom, I think, walked around his garden about ah, I forget … 25 times? It’s a relatively short distance so I’m going to go for 100 kilometers which equates to about 62-plus miles. So I’m going to do that in segments of about a kilometer in the morning and a kilometer in the afternoon. So I’ve got plenty of time before my birthday which is on the 5th of August.”

The decision to raise money for health care workers is also a personal one. “In 2004, I lost my last living brother and then a year later in December, my daughter was killed in an accident … and then a little over a year later my wife died. So about four years, from 2004 to 2007, was the roughest years of my life, really,” he explained. Ray’s daughter was a registered nurse. His wife battled pancreatic cancer. Supporting health care workers has been close to the World War II veteran’s heart since these losses.

Since beginning his fundraiser at the end of April, Ray has raised over $12,000 on GoFundMe. He’s nearly halfway on his mileage goal already. Ray makes sure to stop and say hello to any neighbors and dogs he sees along his daily walk.

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